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
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
News
Teeth should be brushed twice a day to prevent tooth decay
education
News
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
news
Sport
footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League - but Mourinho is short of strikers
News
Those who were encouraged to walk in a happy manner remembered less negative words
science
Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
News
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
i100
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
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

    IT Project Manager

    Competitive: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsford a...

    Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

    £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

    Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

    £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

    IT Manager

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

    Day In a Page

    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
    Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

    'You need me, I don’t need you'

    Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
    How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

    How to Get Away with Murder

    Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
    A cup of tea is every worker's right

    Hard to swallow

    Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
    12 best children's shoes

    Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

    Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
    Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

    Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

    Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
    Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

    Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

    Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
    Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

    Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

    Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
    British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

    British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

    Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
    Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

    Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

    UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London