Choosing Between Vine & Instagram: Tips for Social Media Marketing

instagram vs vineCompetition is heating up between Vine and Instagram, with the addition of video capability to the popular photo-sharing website earlier this summer. Reports show that Vine started lagging behind Instagram as soon as the video feature was added. With Instagram video now an option, many are wondering how to choose between the two. Fortunately, experts suggest various circumstances where advertisers should use Vine, and others where they should use Instagram.

Platform Differences

First, lets take a look at the specific differences between video on Vine and Instagram. First, Instagram allows for longer videos – 15 seconds versus Vine’s 6 seconds. Instagram also allows you to perform limited editing, while Vine does not enable editing other than allowing you to string various clips together. Predictably, Instagram offers filters for video as well, while Vine does not. Unlike Vine, Instagram also incorporates software for image stabilization. Vine allows sharing on Facebook and Twitter only, while Instagram has expanded sharing to Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Flickr, Tumblr, and email.

Other differences include Vine’s ability to display directly in your stream on Twitter and its zero buffer time, in contrast to two seconds for Instagram. Vine can be muted and embedded on desktop, while Instagram cannot. Vine also plays on a loop, and Instagram videos play a single time and then stop. These differences show that Vine is more limited than Instagram video; however, analysts predict that Vine is planning big changes.

When to Use Vine

The question remains – when should I use Vine vs. Instagram? Since the main difference between the two platforms is video length, advertisers should focus their Vine attention on short and sweet clips such as:

  • New Products: An introduction to a new product doesn’t have to be long. One of the best ways to grab attention is to simply show the new product in a flash and motivate followers to seek out further information.
  • Real-Time Interaction: As Honda demonstrated in a recent campaign using both Vine and Twitter, the brevity of Vine videos is useful for fast, real-time interaction to respond to customers via social media.
  • Tutorials: Vine has also proven successful for rapid, 6-second tutorials on how to use a specific product.
  • Invitations: Because it has gif-like qualities, Vine is great as an interactive invitation to promotional events or new product launches.
  • Teasers: Similar to its benefits for new products, Vine is also useful for teaser shots of a new ad campaign or event.

When to Use Instagram

For those who want to start using Instagram video, the 15 second video length lends itself to longer advertising endeavors such as:

  • Promotions:  With Instagram video, you can provide more information about the product you are promoting or the current sale you’re having.
  • Series: If you want to promote a product over the course of a video series, Instagram is the right app to use. You can shoot longer videos that will show continuity in your campaign.
  • Commercials: Using Instagram video, you can even simulate a TV commercial and add personality to your brand. Just keep the content high quality so users won’t feel spammed and stop following you!

How have you decided when to use Vine and when to use Instagram? Does your business prefer one over the other?

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Elizabeth K

Elizabeth Kent is a recent graduate with an M.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies from Brandeis University. She earned her B.A. from Smith College with a major in the Study of Women and Gender and a minor in Jewish Studies. Elizabeth recently relocated from the Boston area back to Western Massachusetts, where she spends her free time volunteering with a local non-profit organization. Elizabeth has worked as a writing tutor, archival intern, research assistant, and retail associate. Her interests include studying pop culture, kittens, and making meals with as little cooking as possible.

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