Micro-Video Platforms: Vine vs. Instagram

Instagram recently equipped its users with the ability to share 15-second video clips on its photo sharing platform. This launch made many wonder about the fate of the app Vine, which became available to Android users in early June. The day after Instagram video launched, Vine shares on Twitter decreased over 50 percent, to 1.35 million. Addtionally, downloads of the Vine app have slowed significantly over the past month.

We've gathered the strengths and weaknesses of each app to help in your decision...Vine or Instagram?


Instagram videos are 15-seconds, more than double the length of Vine videos (6.5-seconds). The length is significant not only for ease of use, but because 15-seconds is the average length of a commercial. Although previously recorded videos cannot be uploaded to Instagram, it will be interesting to see how companies use this extended length in the future.


Vines are known for their signature loops as the video continues to play after the first run through. Instagram videos do not loop. Unlike Vines, which display right in your Twitter stream, Instagram Videos appear as links. However on Facebook, Instagram videos and pictures display right in your newsfeed and Vines will display as links. Instagram videos can be customized with 13 different filter options. These filters are not the same as Instagram’s photo filters with which most users are familiar, as these are specifically for video. Vines cannot be customized with filters and it does not look like this feature will be coming to Vine anytime soon.


Instagram videos included several editing features. One such option is a cinema feature that stabilizes shaky video. Though this software may sacrifice image quality, the “damage” can likely be hidden with one of the filters. Another editing feature is the ability to delete the last clip in a series. Only the most recent clip can be deleted however; you cannot remove the second clip in a series without first deleting the third and fourth clip you have filmed. Vine lacks editing capabilities entirely.


Both apps allow you to switch between the front-facing and rear-facing cameras while shooting, and allow you to save the video to your phone. Although Vine has geotagging capabilities, Instagram boasts a photo map so that you can view other user’s photos and videos by location. Auto-sound is present in both apps, though neither app provides the option to mute videos while browsing on mobile. However, if your phone is on silent, sound will not play in either app. Additionally, Instagram videos recently became embeddable which means that the video can be inserted into the code of your website and will play right on your webpage. Vines also have this capability.

Potential Future Features

Currently, neither app gives you the ability to import videos or to create drafts. Vine has announced it is working on feature that will allow users to create and save drafts before sharing them. Additionally, Vine recently added "re-vining" as a feature. Similar to retweeting, vine videos can now be shared and seen in your follower's feed.

Which will you choose?

Both platforms are widely popular, Vine had 13 million users before it launched for Android and Instagram had more than 130 million users when it launched its video capabilities. Although the differences between these two numbers is striking, this does not spell the death of Vine. There is still a large user base on Vine and time-constraints do allow for more creativity. That said, the success of Vine and the entrance of Instagram into the micro-video space signals the beginning of a what is sure to be a competitive field.

Which app will you integrate into your social media marketing and how? Please share with us in the comments below.