Video Comes to Instagram. Take that, Vine.

By yellowleaf

June 20, 2013


Today, co-founder of Instagram, Kevin Systrom, announced that their wildly used and popular app will now include video. There have been rumors of this addition for the last few weeks. I have to admit, I wasn’t thrilled when I heard the plans. But I must say that I have changed my tune. You see, I was worried that the addition of video would ruin the Instagram experience. The last thing Instagram needs is awkward #selfies and videos of what people are eating for breakfast. Now, hear me, these videos will come, but they won’t dominate your feeds (unless you follow really annoying people). The videos that I have seen so far are from the same creative folks I follow, who are now using video exactly like they used (and will continue) to use photos. Including the filters feature with the video release has a lot to do with the maintaing the “Instagram experience.”

You see, what I thought would ruin the platform only makes it better, especially for marketers. Here are a few reasons why Instagram Video trumps Vine.

1. Number of Users

Instagram has 130 million users. Today. Video is available to all 130 million. Today. With Vine, brands and individuals are still simply just trying it out. They have had to build up their following from 0. Now, brands and individuals will be able to share better video with their current follower-base and not have to work at building their following along the way.

2. Functionality

Instagram released some pretty nifty features with their videos that were seriously lacking in Vine. Here are few that I find especially exciting:

– The ability to quickly edit clips along the way.
– Adding a cover frame to your video. (What users will first see in their feed).
– 13 brand new, custom filters (just for video) to choose from.
– The ability to ‘tap-to-focus’. In Vine, you obviously recorded by tapping/holding your finger on the screen. Always relying on the auto-focus. Not so, with Instagram. It works exactly like taking a picture.
– The addition of image stabilization. Very cool feature that will cut down on much nauseation.
– You can recored up to 15 seconds. This is more than double the length of a Vine video. Now, you can actually tell a story.
– No looping videos.

Image via the Instagram Blog

Image via the Instagram Blog

3. Instagram Video Just Flows

I found myself scrolling through my Instagram feed really trying to tell if it “felt” different. And it doesn’t. It still flows. Thankfully, it still feels like Instagram.

4. The Facebook Factor

Ok, so we all know that this is a huge win for Facebook. The acquisition of Instagram was a big [expensive] step in the right direction for Facebook and the addition of video to the platform is the first major change they have made to the platform post-acquisition. 130 million Instagram users and over 1 billion Facebook users means one thing: Lots and lots and lots of opportunity for brands’ Instagram videos to be seen by a lot of Facebook users. This is the biggest win for brands. 15 seconds to creatively tell a story through video and sharing it with your existing fan base – It all just works.

So, at the end of the day, I am a fan of Instagram video and I believe that this will be a key component for brands in their digital marketing efforts for years to come.

What do you think? Do you like the Instagram update? Will you continue to use Vine or switch to Instagram for all of your videos?

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