Social Media Marketing

Instagram vs. Vine: The Smackdown


Instagram is almost uncannily popular. Taking and sharing visual images is such an important part of social media, that Facebook recently bought the service and now operates it. When it first launched, it was simply an iPhone app. But now users can access Instagram from their computer and most smartphone devices. Although, those who own a smartphone running Blackberry 10 or a Windows Phone are still out of luck as Instagram is only available for iOS and Android. The popularity of Instagram cannot be denied.

However, Twitter recently experienced similar success with video sharing due to a program called Vine. Seeing that video sharing was on fire, the powers that be from Instagram and Facebook have decided it is time to throw their hat into the video-sharing ring. So what does this mean for you and how do you decide if you want to use Instagram vs. Vine for your business goals? Or maybe you want to use both?


When Instagram decided to step it up into the video recording market, Vine got busy developing new features to try and stay competitive with Instagram. They debuted these new features on July 3rd and stated that they plan to continue rolling them out over time. Here are some of the new announced features:

  • Channels: Vine introduced 15 new channels with themes so that users can sort and post videos based on theme. Each channel also has a “Popular” feed so that the top posts get highlighted each day.
  • On The Rise: In an attempt to create a Vine community and engage with their users, Vine is now featuring top posts from new community members.
  • Revining: This feature enables you to share other people’s posts with all of your followers.
  • Protected Posts: Now when you create a Vine video you can determine if you want to share your video or keep it private.



Some of the features that helped Instagram gain popularity were the editing and filter options. This allows users to make simple edits to their pictures right in the app. Similarly, video editing is also included in the app. Editing options are applied after the video has been shot. They are then applied in real time, so you can see them as the video plays back. Editing options include:

  • Deleting frames from video sections
  • Image stabilization
  • Adding forced focus in post-production
  • Adding filters to change the look of your footage
  • Choosing a cover image from any frame in your video
  • Full video preview before public release.


Instagram vs. Vine

While they are similar in concept, Instagram video is not just a repackaged version of Vine. So what are the biggest differences?

  • Length: Instagram videos can be as long as 15 seconds, while Vine videos have a max length of 6 seconds.
  • To Loop, or Not to Loop: Some videos are funnier played on a loop. Others may be best viewed once. When you play a video on Vine, it automatically loops infinitely, while on Instagram there is not a loop.
  • Post-Production: Instagram has several editing options that can be applied to videos after they’ve been shot. Vine does not offer filters or image stabilization.

Because of differences in the two programs, it may be that using both is the perfect solution for you.

The Future

While Instagram videos are brand new, it is hard to tell exactly what the future will hold. One feature that many people are requesting is the ability to import videos. Unlike the photo version of Instagram, the only videos that work are ones shot directly within the app. Perhaps this will be something that changes in the future. Another aspect of Instagram video that many users wonder about is the use of these videos as an advertising medium. While regular users may see advertising as a bother, business users will see it as an easy way to put video advertising in front of a captive audience. Only time will tell whether Instagram Video manages to take a slice of business from Vine, or whether it builds a whole new group of users.