The Vine vs. Instagram battle has everyone talking about video these days. Each week brings a new development in their back-and-forth battle. Instagram had clear momentum a month ago but now Vine seems to be clawing back, rising to the No. 7 free download in America by July 28. (Instagram was at No. 14.) As recently as mid-June, Vine was the top free download in America.
1. Short-form video is here to stay: You’ve heard this before: people’s attention spans are growing shorter and shorter. After 10 seconds, 20 percent of video viewers click away, according to research by Visible Measures. And the exodus grows with every second after that. The winner of the Instagram vs. Vine video war may be determined by whether Instagram’s 15-second videos are too long compared to Vine’s six-second clips. Attention span-challenged? You bet we are.
2. Consumer brands are ahead but B-to-B is gaining fast: Consumers and consumer brands have been the quickest to adopt but business-to-business brands are testing the waters, too. According to Simply Measured, early Vine adopters include Cisco Systems, Gillette, McDonald’s, Mercedes-Benz USA, Nissan and Xerox Corp. Brands on board the Instagram Video train include Ford, Disney, Intel, Cisco, Burberry, eBay, Gap and Starbucks. As my colleague Rachael Tucker pointed out, Cisco predicts that video will account for two-thirds of the world's mobile data traffic by 2017. Don’t watch much video now? You will soon.
3. The quality is improving fast. Short-form video is such a new platform, we’re all learning as we go. Years ago as Twitter pushed its way into mainstream adoption, remember how quickly users – including companies – became more clever and sophisticated in their Twitter use? The same is true of Vine and Instagram video today. The quality and creativity seem to be improving every day. Some of our favorite brands on Vine include General Electric, Trident Gum and Urban Outfitters. And if you haven’t checked out Twitter illustrator and video animator Ian Padgham’s videos yet, do yourself a favor. They’re amazing.
Short-form videos will continue to grow in popularity because they convey so much information in so little time. And because people are becoming more comfortable watching and making short little snippets of life in video-form. Are you using Instagram video, Vine or another video app?
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Follow John on Vine and Twitter @jmcelhenny