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?

Advertisements

Overheard on the Bus…

Me Bus NYC

I’ve become a big fan of taking the bus whenever possible on my trips up and down the East Coast. I know the general perception of traveling by bus isn’t a positive one, but Megabus and the Greyhound Express have treated me well since moving out here.

With one of my favorite past times being people watching, an added bonus is that there’s no shortage of this on the bus. We hadn’t even left the station on my trip up to NYC today when I heard the following conversation going down with the girl sitting behind me…

– “You don’t love me anymore?”
– “Whyyyyy?”
– “Don’t break up with me.”
– “Mike, don’t do this to me!”
– “I can’t do it without you!”
– “You’re killing me.”
– “Okay, we’ll talk about all of this later.”

I can only imagine Mike’s responses on the other end of the line during a convo that included entirely too many moans and uncontrollable sobs for it only lasting a hot second. Furthermore, I’m sure the last thing in this world Mike now wants to do is “talk about all of this later.” I’ll admit I was hoping round two would take place at some point during our six-hour bus ride, but I’m sad to say it didn’t.

Oh, and I definitely recorded the conversation at the prompting of a friend I was talking to over text. And yeah, I know I’m a terrible person…

I Mustache You to Read This

TL Valentine

Today I came home from a pretty cray workday to this belated but very baller Valentine from my friend TL. Not only is she punny, but she also gets my penchant for mustaches.

I’m fully on board with the stache trend and owned a sweet iPhone case displaying one until I recently decided to retire it after taking photos at a postseason awards banquet and looked up to find coaches and other dignitaries getting a good chuckle out of it. It was obviously one helluva conversation piece, but it was equally as unprofessional.

Not in college anymore, Zach.

While I’m not currently rocking a stache, I’m actually thinking about growing one soon; been contemplating it for awhile now. Maybe this summer — when anything seems to go — and definitely in Movember to help raise money for prostate and testicular cancer. I think I could pull it off.

And what a great idea for an actual V-Day card, right? Eat your heart out, Hallmark.

Saturday Night Live Is Alive Again


Saturday Night Live seems to be getting back to its uproarious roots after a rough stretch over the last few years, which in my opinion began with the departure of the likes of Will Ferrell and continued through Molly Shannon’s exit from the show. It was disheartening to see mainstays such as Andy Samberg and Kristen Wiig peacing out recently as well.

So maybe it’s because I had set the bar pretty low that I’ve been pleasantly surprised that the show has been more consistently entertaining week in and week out as of late.

This past weekend’s episode featured a fantastic sketch parodying iPhone5 users’ complaints about the device (e.g., obnoxious maps glitch), which begins with a panel of techie bloggers and then segues into an appearance by several Foxconn (Chinese factory where iPhones were manufactured) workers mockingly offering their own counterpoints to the various complaints.

As usual, Bill Hader and Fred Armisen are genius, and the sketch ended up being hella amusing throughout. My favorite part is when the workers have trouble identifying products actually made in America–other than diabetes that is. With sketches like these, I think SNL may actually be making its way back; or at least in this guy’s eyes.