So everyone who said that the Facebook event was going to be all about Instagram video was right. The “big idea” from a “small team” indeed turned out to be video sharing via what used to be a photo-only platform. And yes, the filters are there. Of course, this development brought about different reactions. The inevitable comparison to Twitter’s Vine also has come up.
On the one hand, there are people who were quick to say goodbye to Vine. On the day of the announcement itself, not a few bloggers were very quick to jump on the Instagram video bandwagon.
On the other hand, I think I saw more people on my stream lean towards the negative side. Mathew Ingram of GigaOm said it best in his article titled “Why I will never click on your Instagram video, no matter how much you want me to“.
While I would not go as far as saying what Ingram said – I did click on several Instagram videos over the weekend – he does make a lot of valid points. And while I am not an avid Vine user, one cannot ignore the similarities between the two video sharing platforms. It is thus understandable when people say that Facebook is out of ideas and that its Instagram video move is simply a gut reaction to Vine’s success.
Having said that, it is worth taking a look at the differentiating features of Instagram video:
- 15 seconds’ worth of video as compared to 6 seconds. What I can see here is the potential for brands to unleash their creatives and take advantage of Instagram video as a new venue for advertising.
- Instagram video allows focusing. This is the reason that there is a dedicated button for shooting – as opposed to Vine, where you can touch the screen anywhere. When you touch the screen on Instagram – aside from the shoot button – you can somehow control focus.
- Instagram has this stabilising feature. That says a lot, especially for people with the shakes. Too much – or not enough – caffeine, you know?
Those are only three of the most interesting features Facebook’s questionably “big idea”, but is that enough to kill Vine?
I honestly don’t think so.
Sure, the longer recording period makes it interesting for businesses and ad agencies, but for Jane and Joe average, 6 seconds is more than enough to get their funny on. And that’s what Vine is all about. Instagram is already full of not-too-funny and not-too-creative photos. Will video change that? Judging by the videos I’ve seen this weekend, nope.
What do you think? Am I wrong?