With the recent releases of Instagram’s and Vine’s video sharing apps in the past few months, social video sharing has become the newest aspect to our ever-connected, can’t-be-farther-than-an-arm’s-length-from-our-smartphones, socially networked lives. Guest author, JT Ripton, compares and contrasts the two apps.



Facebook’s Instagram was already one of the largest social media platforms at the time of the video sharing app’s launch, which has only helped it gain more popularity since. This may spell trouble for the newly formed, yet slightly older, Twitter-acquired Vine — a video sharing app that’s just trying to grow and strengthen its roots. With that I give you the current state of social video sharing, and how the two major players stack up against each other.

Clip Length

One of the primary differences between Instagram and Vine is the length of videos they allow their users to have. Vine permits its users to share video clips that are up to a maximum of six seconds long. Additionally, the videos are on a loop, so they play continuously. Instagram, however, allows users to share clips that are up to 15 seconds, which is more than double that of Vine. Videos on Instagram are not on a loop like they are on Vine. In response to the Instagram video launch, a Vine blog post tells users that it’s just the beginning for the app and that changes for the social media sharing application are on the horizon.

Celebrities have recently taken to using these video services to make announcements. Jon Favreau recently used Vine to announce that Dustin Hoffman had been cast in his latest movie, while Joshua Michael Stern, director of Jobs, the upcoming biopic based on Steve Jobs, took advantage of Instagram’s extra length by posting a shortened trailer for Jobs.

In-app Capabilities

Another major difference that seems to be bringing Instagram out ahead of Vine is the Instagram video-sharing tool that’s built directly into the Instagram app. This means that all of the photo sharing, video sharing, commenting and liking happens in the mobile app. Vine, on the other hand, does not allow all of these features inside its app. Instead, Vine requires users to download a separate app for video sharing. Given that Instagram already has 130 million users, integrating the video function into the app was a great idea.

One of Vine’s biggest advantage over Instagram’s video feature comes in the way that it functions. With Instagram, you have to hit a big record button. When using Vine, however, the second you touch anywhere on the screen, the device starts recording. Instagram could fix this with a simple update, but as of now, they haven’t.


When it comes to videos on mobile devices, one department that has always been weak is editing, and Vine is no exception. Instagram, however, offers the ability to delete and to add one of Instagram’s many filters to your video, giving it a special look. As mentioned earlier, it’s been said that Vine is very much a work in progress, and a recent video released by Vine showed drafts, so, at the very least, Vine users will be able to save unfinished videos in the future. Perhaps users will show off videos that didn’t quite make the final cut.

Instagram also allows you to choose a frame of the video to be used for the cover image of the video. This small oversight by Vine makes a huge difference, as Instagram users can choose the perfect frame of the video to display to people before they click play on the video.

As mentioned earlier, one of Vine’s biggest advantages is that you can tap anywhere on the screen to begin recording. That feature, however, is also one of Vine’s biggest weaknesses. When you tap anywhere on the screen in Instagram, the image will focus, leaving you with a perfectly focused shot. Vine’s inability to focus the shot is almost a deal killer, so you should expect some sort of image focusing ability to be added in future versions of Vine.

Stabilization Feature

Instagram offers a stabilization feature so users can present a more stable and easier to watch clip. It puts a more professional spin on amateur videos. Those posting personal videos might not use this feature as often, but a business using Instagram videos as part of its marketing strategy can present a more professional video.

It really boils down to personal preference. The week that Instagram video launched, Vine supporters rallied and made #TeamVine trend worldwide on Twitter for most of the day. That didn’t stop Vine shares from dropping on Twitter, from three million the previous week to 900,000 the week that Instagram video launched, and they continue to drop every day.

Will Facebook’s Instagram take over Twitter’s Vine? With future updates planned, don’t count on it. Neither side will easily give up, and this “feud” could last for years. If one sounds better than the other, give it a shot. They’re both free and available now.

Image via Flickr by José Moutinho

About The Author: JT Ripton is a freelance writer and long time user of all things social media and technology, he enjoys keeping up with current trends but really tries to stay ahead of the curve the best that he can.

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Instagram, Internet, Social Media


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