Unless you’ve been living under a rock recently, you know that Instagram (owned by Facebook) just released a video function on the app. While this has been in development for a while, it’s pretty clear that the main reason for the new feature is to compete with Twitter’s video app, Vine.
With the news of Instagram Video, a lot of people took to the internet saying that Vine is dead and there will be no point to it now that Instagram has created a similar product. But I disagree. While these two apps may appear to be the same concept at first, there are a lot of differences that I believe make them entirely different experiences.
Ok, so let’s take a look at some of the functions of each app. The biggest difference between the two would have to be the allowed recording time. Vine allows you to creat a 6 second video, while Instagram leaves time for up to 15 second recordings. So right off the bat it seems like Instagram would be better, right? Well not really, no. It’s a complete matter of preference. If you’re looking for just a regular recorded video, then yes, 15 seconds is better, and I would recommend Instagram. However, I think it’s important to look at Vine not like a normal video. It’s more of a GIF creator really. When you reach the end of a Vine video, it starts playing right back at the beginning, just like a GIF. So maybe it’s not as good for recording a specific event that’s happening, but it certainly has it’s benefits. Just as GIFs are sometimes better than watching entire videos online. But really, this whole time difference is symbolic of what Facebook and Twitter represent in their original forms. Facebook is a much lengthier and personal way of communicating, while Twitter is meant to be short and limited in the amount you can say.
Another reason I believe these two can not only exist together, but thrive, is the outlook of the companies backing them. Twitter has always held a stance of free speech and letting the users generate whatever content they like even if sometimes things are said or posted that probably shouldn’t be. This has definitely come in handy for people like porn stars. They’re able to post nude pictures, and now videos thanks to Vine, without fear of the post being taken down due to some sort of policy infringement. For example, take a look at this Vine from Kristina Rose.
Facebook, and Instagram by association, on the other hand have not had nearly as lenient of a policy when it comes to such matters. While it is certainly possible to find nudity on Facebook and Instagram, it is against their policy. I doubt you’re going to be seeing too much of the above on Instagram Video.
If there’s one thing you can be sure of when you’re on the Internet, it’s that there will always be nudity. You can find pretty much anything if you search enough. There are too many industries and markets for it to disappear. So I believe the fact that these two apps have differing policies when it comes to this topic may in fact help both of them. Instagram Video and Vine are still obviously competitors and will compete for a lot of the same users. But I do also believe that there is enough differentiating the two that they can both exist and be successful, just as Twitter and Facebook have each thrived over the past several years.
So that being said, which do you prefer? I’m a Vine man, myself.