Hey Vine, Meet Instagram Video

Instagram vs Vine

It’s my first Free Friday from work and I’m up early at Starbucks researching (i.e. nerding out to) the latest battle in the social media landscape between Vine and the new Instagram Video. In my eyes, these kind of digital duels are like boxing or pro wrestling, but only better – quite a statement given my affinity for WWE.

Yes, Instagram has introduced a 15-second video feature to complement its trademark filtered-photo sharing service, news my broworker Bobby rushed down to share with me at the office yesterday (see, I’m not the only one who’s amped about this development). I suppose this should come as no surprise to the world’s 130 million Instagram users and the 13 million of us on Vine; it was only a matter of time until Instagram introduced video.

Let’s not lose sight of the overarching significance here, though, because while this is seemingly a battle between Instagram Video and Vine, in all actuality it’s a larger war between Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, and Twitter, owner of Vine. Furthermore, in no way is this simply a competition for users, but a play for advertising dollars – two concepts that go hand in hand in the digital world nowadays.

When it comes to the advertising aspect, it’s no coincidence that Instagram went with 15 seconds given that it’s an increasingly popular length for TV and online ad spots. Companies can do a great deal in 15 seconds – and much more than in six seconds on Vine – as evidenced by Lululemon in this sweet Instagram Video. Here are a few other brands also wasting no time taking advantage of Instagram’s new video offerings.

Facebook was undoubtedly smart to embrace the bite-sized video-sharing side of the industry, thus stealing a key element of Twitter’s business model following the latter’s immense success with Vine. As an early adopter, it seems like Vine’s been around forever, but it’s important to note what many have called “video Instagram” was only just introduced in late January 2013.

Instagram CEO/co-founder Kevin Systrom billed his app’s new 15-second video feature as “everything we know and love about Instagram, but it moves.” In my quick research online and limited experience with the feature itself, here are a few notable comparisons between Instagram Video and Vine:

  • Both offer stop-motion video (thus allowing you to take clips within the full video clip itself), but Instagram Video allows you to actually delete any undesired clips.
  • Instagram carried its classic filtering feature over to video as well, giving users the ability to edit individual clips. Vine doesn’t offer this capability… yet.
  • Two big advantages of Vine, however, are looping and embedding, which Instagram did not implement as part of its initial video launch.
  • And longer is always better, right? I’d imagine that Instagram 15-second videos are preferred to the six seconds granted by Vine. I do wonder if 15 seconds is too long, though, in the sense that we’re so used to six-second videos, 140 characters and the general notion of concision in our digital world… I mean, I know it’s hard for me to even bear the five seconds before I can skip ads on YouTube. Nevertheless, I think 15 seconds will soon become the perceived norm.
  • Creativity is king when it comes to digital, so users will undoubtedly learn to be even more innovative with their increased time allotment. Just look at these people who are already doing unbelievable things with six-second videos… and they’re getting paid for it.
  • Interested in additional comparisons? Jordan Crook of Tech Crunch (great site) compiled this breakdown of the two dueling apps.

Some folks are already predicting the early extinction of Vine (hence the #RIPVine hashtag) after yesterday’s announcement, but this guy’s not so convinced. With Twitter behind it, I have little doubt that Vine will fight back – some of its most faithful users (hilariously) are already firing back.

and up its proven game. And let’s face it, a little healthy competition never hurt anyone and should only serve to benefit us users.

Lastly, if you want some extra help before taking a stab at your first Instagram Video, how about a little seven-step tutorial care of the great folks at Mashable?

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Oh Hail Yeah!

hail yes

I’m a huge fan of T-shirts – as in I easily own 100 – and this one immediately caught my eye as I made my way through my Instagram feed yesterday. The NFL was peddling these clever tees at Radio City in NYC – site of the NFL Draft – this past week and in the process showed it could have a little fun with the criticism of its decision to hold next year’s Super Bowl at the non-domed MetLife Stadium in Jersey.

True, any three of these weather conditions could potentially strike the Metropolitan Area come next February 2, but let’s remember this is football, folks; a game where inclement weather is often embraced and can make the gameday experience all the more memorable.

I must admit it would be pretty incredible if the game actually came down to a Hail Mary pass. Equally incredible would be da Bears making it to the Super Bowl, but the likelihood of that happening is about as good as Mother Mary herself returning to throw the game-winning pass.

San Fran: As Beautiful as You Are Stereotyped

San Fran Rainbow

My friend Jason posted this pic of San Francisco’s rainbow-filled sky earlier this week and it just made me smile. The city, and the Bay Area in general, is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places I’ve had the pleasure of visiting in my 28 years.

Say what you will about San Fran – without a doubt one of America’s most strongly-stereotyped cities with its hella-pricey properties and copious earthy-crunchy, liberal-leaning, techy and altogether strange types – but it’s hard to argue the city is probably one of the most beautiful in the country. The photo doesn’t lie, folks.

San Fran, if you weren’t so far away from the majority of my friends and fam, I’d come knocking in a heartbeat. But don’t worry, I’ll visit soon.

Odds Ever in Our Favor With New ‘Hunger Games’ Campaign

Effie Katniss Meme

Well, we’re only eight months and some change away from Katniss, Peeta and crew returning to our lives in “Catching Fire,” the second chapter in the beloved “Hunger Games” series. If you’re like me and need a consistent fix ahead of the November 22 premiere, the odds are ever in your favor thanks to Instagram.

The film’s studio, Lionsgate, is utilizing Instagram to rekindle our interest in the series by releasing individual character posters featuring portraits of empty chairs and soliciting guesses as to which character will eventually take each seat. The full fashion-themed photos portraying both chair and occupant are being periodically released on entertainment websites like People.com.

Until their release, the photos include hints in their captions with a countdown clock also being made available on the relaunched Capitol Couture site (the .pn in the site’s name is a nice touch, right?), run by the fictional Panem government. The first photo released is of Effie Trinket, who’s depicted as a more stately and slightly older Lady Gaga.

I’m impressed by Lionsgate’s clever use of cross promotion among its various digital platforms and its additional incorporation of outside entertainment sites into the mix. I look forward to following the campaign as both a fan and a new media junkie.

And because I can never take myself too seriously here, after you follow Capitol Couture on Instagram definitely check out these amazing Hunger Games memes. They were released last year, but they never get old.