I raved about Vine months ago, and I wasn’t the only one who loved Twitter’s 6-second looping video service. The app reportedly had 13 million users last month, and the user base continues to grow.

For a time, Vine shares outnumbered Instagram shares on Twitter.

Of course, it wouldn’t be long until Instagram added a video component too, continuing the rivalry between Twitter and Facebook. A couple weeks ago, Instagram debuted Video on Instagram. But how does it match up to Vine?

The Same But Different

From a distance, the two video services don’t seem especially different. They’re both mobile. They both offer users short snippets of video. And neither will work on my old Droid Incredible.

But they have a lot more differences when you really get into it.

  • Video length is the most obvious difference. While Vine offers a snack-sized 6 seconds of video, Instagram offers 15 seconds—that’s two and a half Vines.
  • Instagram also allows you to delete the last clip. Vine doesn’t have any real editing features. If things don’t work out on your Vine, you’re pretty much stuck with what you make or forced to reshoot everything.
  • Following in the footsteps of its photo service, Instagram offers 13 new filters with plenty more on the horizon.
  • Instagram has a Cinema feature that essentially acts as a video stabilizer, which would normally sacrifice some image quality, but considering filters and brightness settings already mess with the image, a little more isn’t noticeable.
  • Vines are shareable via Facebook and Twitter. Instagram videos are shareable via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, foursquare, and email. Granted, Vines are embeddable.

For Better or Worse?

At this point, it’s hard to really say which of the two services is better, or if there even is much of a designated winner. Instagram’s longer video length is great, but it also leaves more room for error. That along with the edit features make Instagram video much more forgiving, while the wider array of share-to options means a larger audience.

Six seconds is shorter, yes, but the shorter length means you have to be a bit more creative and thoughtful about how you shoot things. As the saying goes, brevity is the soul of wit. Vines also loop, making them much more like those GIFs we all love and adore.

In terms of marketing, and social media, both are pretty successful so far. There are plenty of brands already using Instagram video to great effect, but there are just as many companies using Vine with similar results. In terms of short, mobile video sharing, I personally think both Instagram and Vine offer a great, burgeoning medium to market your brand.

At this point, it may just be a matter of catering to different audiences. It’ll be interesting to see how these two services compete in the coming months. Really, I’m just annoyed that my phone can’t support either.

What do you think about Video on Instagram and Vine? Have you seen any standout applications of either?


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