Instagram video trims Vine's userbase, but really it's a fight for advertisers

New feature will help Facebook tempt more brands away from Twitter

Facebook and Instagram, Twitter and Vine. Like rival parents conducting a proxy war through their children, the world’s most prominent social networks are continuing to sick their offspring on each other with Facebook’s introduction of video sharing for Instagram – a direct challenge to Twitter-owned video app Vine. 

However, this latest move isn’t just a bid for popularity with users, both companies need to attract advertisers - and video is a key part of that battle.

The new video functionality for Instagram (bought by Facebook last year) will allow users to share video clips of up to 15 seconds long, add one of thirteen filters “built specifically for video”, or edit clips. Like Vine - bought by Twitter in October 2012 - Instagram videos will be integrated directly into the social media feeds of its parent company’s site.

As well as allowing more advanced editing than Vine, video sharing for Instagram also offers a “cinema” mode that stabilises video to make the footage smoother. Other differences include Vine’s automatic video looping and its shorter clip time – only six seconds long.

“We’re excited to see what the community will bring to video,” said co-founder of Instagram, Kevin Systrom in a blog post announcing the news. “Whether it’s your local cafe showing you just how they made your latte art this morning or an Instagrammer on the other side of the world taking you on a tour of their city, a mother sharing her joys in parenting as her children laugh and play or your favorite athlete taking you behind the scenes.”

 

Hashtags and video clips: it's about directing content

Facebook also took a move out of Twitter’s playbook earlier this month with the introduction of hashtags, a crucial element of social media organization for both users and advertisers.

Hashtags create anchors for real-time events, allowing individuals around the world to get involved with trending stories. It also allows advertisers to reach out to their audience in the same way, or create (fairly) unobtrusive ad campaigns via sponsored hashtags.

The idea of multinational corporations sneaking into ‘global conversation’ may be unappealing, but as ad strategies go it’s got Facebook beat. Ben Popper noted that Facebook have had trouble with their current advertising model, especially with the unpopular ‘Sponsored Stories’ – where companies hijack your posts and “convert you into an unwitting pitchman for a product you may or may not love.”

Sponsored stories were dropped by Facebook just two weeks ago and it’s clear that the introduction of hashtags and video is part of a major reorientation for their advertising strategy.

It's easy to see why: Twitter’s video-sharing service Vine has enjoyed enormous popularity with brands, who are always willing to pay more for video over display advertising, and who can integrate these Vine-adverts directly into the Twitter feeds of confirmed fans.

Vine and Twitter aren't foisting ads on people who don’t want them (well, not all the time – sponsored posts still appear in Twitter feeds every now and again), and the 6-second clip time means consumers don’t feel like they’re spending much time watching an ad.

 

Instagram beats Vine in numbers, but are they chasing different audiences?

It’s been a very successful combination, with more than 50,000 brands already using the service and, with 4% of the top 100 Vines created by branded content, compared to only 1% sponsored content in their viral video charts.

When it comes to Instagram vs Vine though there’s one telling metric that gives Facebook the edge –Instagram currently has over 130 million active users each month and over 16 billion photos share since its creation. The most recent figures on Vine give only 13million iPhone users in comparison.

And despite the easily-consumed 6 second clips from Vine, Instagram Video’s longer video length might make it more appealing to advertisers. 15 seconds, as Quartz have noted, is exactly the same length as the average US TV commercial meaning that brands don’t even need to edit down their content to switch it onto Instagram.

However, Instagram CEO Systrom is claiming that they aren't chasing Vine's audience, calling the difference an "artistic choice": "I don't think that one is better than the other." Other commentators have seen this size in clip length indicative of a different approach - Vine's shorter video length is more grab-it-and-go whereas Instagram invites a more considered approach.

Whilst other video-sharing services have already been left by the wayside (Viddy has dwindling user numbers, Flickr never had a complete social network to hook into) it is conceivable that both Vine and Instagram Video will co-exist, for a while at least.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
News
i100
News
Prince Harry is clearing enjoying the Commonwealth Games judging by this photo
people(a real one this time)
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    .Net/ C# Developer/ Analyst Programmer - West London

    £45000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .NET/ C# .Pr...

    Graduate / Trainee Recruitment Consultant - IT

    £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: Orgtel are seeking Graduate Trainee Re...

    Content Manager - Central London

    £35000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Content Manager - Central...

    Java Developer

    £45000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: JAVA DEVELO...

    Day In a Page

    Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

    Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
    Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
    Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
    Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

    Feather dust-up

    A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
    5 best waterproof cameras

    Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

    Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
    The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

    The air strikes were tragically real

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns
    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

    Britain as others see us

    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
    Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

    Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

    Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
    How did our legends really begin?

    How did our legends really begin?

    Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
    Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
    A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

    A new Russian revolution

    Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc