A killer app? Why Instagram Video does not mean the end for Vine

Jim Dowling, managing partner at Cake, insists the arrival of Instagram Video does not guarantee the demise of rival Vine.

Jim Dowling

We have a weekend of shrinking cappuccinos and licking cats to look forward to, but once we get to Wednesday next week, what can we expect from Instagram Video?

It’s another day, another death in social media. Media coverage of any social media innovation seems to operate on a one in, one out policy. Facebook launches something, therefore some little fella’s now done for. Who knows what will happen next - but that doesn’t stop hundreds of consultants much like myself speculating.

Firstly, reports of death are exaggerated. Foursquare was supposedly in intensive care, but has reinvented itself smartly based around a shifting social media ecosystem. Facebook Places was supposed to be its slayer, but the location-based platform shuffled along, gave it some space on the bench, and then innovated smartly going deeper into what it stood for in the first place. User reviews and retail partnerships form the basis of a thriving tool.

This isn’t just about what Vine does next. The question is, is Instagram Video any good? Instagram is a photo product whose beauty lies in its filter. The filter is where the frisson lies – it helps your average punter feel like Annie Liebowitz. Video is a different kettle of fish. Both Vine and Instagram require an element of skill, largely due to the lack of intuitive editing software. It takes a while to get the hang of producing six or 15 second videos and ultimately feeling like Martin Scorsese.

Instagram’s strength lies in its mainstream appeal. More people have an Instagram app than a Vine one on their device, plus the weight of Facebook behind them – so they have their head start. But social media is also a tribal affair. My early suspicion is that they will both live alongside nicely, but start to separate around two things: content and audience.

Smart, creative brains will pick apart both platforms and find clever, unique ways of using both. We’ll start seeing smart uses of both by brands and creators will which start to shed more light on what might happen next.

But with regard to the audience, Vine might start to take a look at what ‘secondary’ channels like Foursquare and Vimeo have achieved. These two platforms have carved out a niche, attracting smaller but valuable, influential audiences onto their platforms. Instagram Video will be a hit in Stockport, Preston and beyond. Vine needs to cut it in Shoreditch.

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