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Vine and Instagram: Pawns in the Match Between Twitter and Facebook

Adam Ray Modified: November 19, 2013 at 11:20 am •  Published: June 19, 2013

Vine and Instagram: Pawns in the Match Between Facebook and Twitter

In the upper-hand competition between Facebook and Twitter, the latest play pieces are Facebook’s Instagram and Twitter’s Vine.

As the first to buy its own media app, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerburg announced in the summer of 2012 that his company would acquire Instagram for a stunning $1 billion in cash and shares (jaws dropped, users survived).

Currently, more than 100 million people use Instagram each month, and 40 million photos a day are uploaded to the service.  Several companies took note of Instagram’s success, and wanted to incorporate video into the equation, essentially one-upping Instagram’s potential and becoming the unofficial “Instagram of Video.”

In a clever move in October of 2012, Twitter acquired Vine, the now thriving video loop sharing service, before the app even launched.  On the company’s blog, founder Dom Hofmann reveals of Vine’s 6 second video loops, “They’re little windows into the people, settings, ideas, and objects that make up your life.”

With each major social media network acquiring similar media apps, the frenzied rivalry between Facebook and Twitter turned to content marketing.

In a bout between the companies in winter 2012, Twitter announced that they would add photo filters, to compete with Instagram.  Shortly after, Instagram cut off Twitter cards, the design feature that displays media content directly in the timeline.

In January, Twitter finally released Vine, and the app was a huge hit.  The app had gained 13 million users in the first five months. When Twitter released an Android version of Vine earlier this June, they managed to surpass Instagram in its total daily shares on Twitter, according to Topsy.

In the biggest game-changing play yet, Facebook announced today that it had added video recording and editing capabilities to Instagram, alongside filtering and sharing capabilities.

Like an arguing sibling, Vine upped their game, posting several vines Wednesday that suggest users will soon have the ability to save drafts, splice multiple Vines together, and browse content based on categories and genres.

Vine vs. Instagram, Features Compared

If you are already confused by the back-and-forth between these two apps, don’t fret.  Jordan Crook of Tech Crunch released a comprehensive comparison of the features of Vine and Instagram with video.

Neither app allows the user to upload existing videos from their camera roll, but insist that you shoot the video live, in-app.  As an interesting twist, the audio of clips in both apps’ mobile version cannot be adjusted apart from adjusting the phone’s overall volume.  In contrast, video clips on desktop displays are auto programmed to mute until you click to un-mute.

Why the Rise in Video Clip Apps?

When Twitter pioneered micro-blogging, one of the advantages to typical blogging was that more blogs could be viewed (although shortened).  The same rings true with bite-sized video– more videos can be viewed scrolling through a Vine feed than watching back to back on YouTube or Vimeo.

Making videos is fun!  The top theme among Vine videos is clever stop-motion animation videos, and the best videos loop to complete an endless sequence.

“Where Instagram’s user base is mostly made up of people documenting their feet, coffees, and pets, Vine has attracted a group of users who are pleased by the challenges set forth in the app,” said Jordan Crook.

The challenge of creating your first stop-motion 6 second film is one well worth the effort.

Following are several well-made Vines and Instagrams for your inspiration:

Magic Banana


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