Instagram vs. Vine, Facebook vs. Twitter, it has been quite interesting watching the battle between the two social media behemoths for mini-video supremacy. When Vine was released in Jan of 2013, it was heralded as the Instagram of video. 5 days after being introduced, Vine had more shares-per-day at 2.5 million, while Instagram was only generating 2.2. These are very impressive numbers for a service only 5 days old, it appeared Vine was coming in strong and here to stay.
Fast forward 6 months later to June 20th, the date Instagram added a video service to their app. Vine shares-per-day plummeted from 2.5 million on June 19th, to 1.5 million on June 20th. In the same month, Vine links on twitter also dropped by 70%, not a good sign for Vine.
Personally, when Instagram launched their video service, we at Sike immediately went and deleted our Vine apps. After all, why would we want to try and manage 2 separate video sharing apps? Since we already had an Instagram presence established, it was an easy choice to stick with Instagram, rather than start again from the ground up with Vine. If someone was to tell us that the fate of Vine is a slow death, you would not hear many objections, but maybe, just maybe, we have Vine all wrong.
The first thing we have to realize is the fundamental difference between Instagram and Vine. While Instagram’s success was based on the huge number of users uploading and the volume of uploaded content, Vine should not be measured in the same way. This is because of the simple fact that pictures and videos are very different things. The complexities of creating a great video are going to inhibit the casual user from creating and uploading a video to Vine, after all, it is much easier to upload a cool sunset picture than create a 6 second video people will actually want to watch. This will, in turn, skew many of the Vine users into consumers, rather than creators. This is bad for Vine right? Not necessarily.
The best way to see the potential success of Vine is to view it as a mini YouTube. YouTube is a consumer-centric service, much like Vine. Chances are everyone you know has seen a video on YouTube before, but how many of those same people have actually uploaded content? Consumption far exceeds creation on YouTube. It is estimated that 30% of the videos uploaded to YouTube account for 90% of total views. This simply shows that people are consuming YouTube videos MUCH faster than creating them and we feel this is the direction Vine will be going.
We have already seen numerous big brands take advantage of Vine, creating brilliant 6 second advertisements. With the money and resources to create quality videos, we see Vine as a fantastic avenue for brands to get fresh, new content out to their fans. We all know consumer attention spans are shrinking, and nowhere is this more prevalent than online. It is only natural to see the progression to shorter advertisements, and Vine is a perfect avenue for that content.
We are very interested to see where Vine ultimately goes. It is obvious that Instagram has a huge advantage over user-generated content and it would be a big mistake for Vine to try and go toe-to-toe with them. We would like to see Vine aggressively target advertising partnerships, bringing more creative and quality content to its platform. Give us a reason to re-download that Vine app on to our precious smartphones.
-Mike & Samantha