Video content on social media has been providing the edge to different players. Twitter’s Vine app gained instant market acceptance and recognition when it was launched. Now, Vine is facing intense competition with the launch of online photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service Instagram. Digital experts are divided over which of the two services offers more advantages to users.
According to Kesavan Kanchi Kandadai, Chief Executive Officer, Tangerine Digital, “The impact of Instagram launching its video service has been felt by Vine app within a week. The fall in Vine videos has been from 2.5 million Vine links on June 19 to 900,000 vine links by June 26. However, the growth of Instagram videos is not proportionate to the fall of Vine app. Instagram videos are on the steady rise and have hit around 1.5 million by June 26.”
At the same time, Kandadai feels that it is too early to predict who will stand out as there are many other factors that will influence the players, such as how will the emerging markets adapt to these platforms, what opportunities are available for brands to engage with their users, and the fact that the product still has to mature.
Vineet Gupta, Managing Partner, 22 feet is optimistic about Instagram videos for two reasons. “First and foremost, because of the F-factor (Facebook) and secondly, because of the headway they have over Vine, especially in India, where Vine is a relatively unknown platform,” he explained.
Meanwhile, in order to offset the challenge posed by the new player in the social video space, the six-month old Twitter-owned Vine has recently added some new features, including a redesigned camera, categories for various Vine genres, and the ability to ‘re-vine’ people’s existing Vines. The update offers some in-demand features and also improves users’ abilities to gain following and get noticed within the app. The camera tools have been improved as well, while discovery of interesting clips inside the app has been made easier.
As per various media reports, Vine has seen rapid growth and an active community over the past six months, with over 13 million users on the service. The limits put forth within the app, such as a six-second maximum and a lack of ‘editability’, are seen to have made the app more appealing to users in terms of both creativity and consumption.
Meanwhile, Vine has enthused quite a few global brands such as MTV, Bacardi, and Target, among many other since its launch. On the other hand, athletic apparel company Lululemon has been one of the first organisations to produce and post a video on Instagram in the first week of the service’s launch. The claims that the upload has impacted its engagement on the platform month-over-month, earning more than double its average 5,785.3 likes per photo in just a few days.
Another company that claims to have seen results from its first few Instagram videos is GE. The company shares the bulk of its photos on Facebook and Twitter, so it made sense to automate its video content, too. On Facebook, GE claims to have seen five times more engagement on its new video posts. Closer home, Myntra has attempted to use the interactive nature of Instagram video.
The road ahead
Eshita Jayaswal, Vice President - Strategic Business, Webchutney remarked that since platforms such as Instagram and Vine are essentially mobile-first, they truly enable video access, creation and sharing for users. “A host of opportunities are waiting to be explored – from purely functional branded content to user-generated video content to real-time event updates in richer formats for consumers. We are already engaged with some of our clients to leverage these platforms for their audiences,” said Jayaswal.
Kandadai also thinks that the opportunities for brands are manifold on these social video platforms. He lists six big ways in which these applications will open doors for brands significantly:
• Great source for user-generated content. Brands can engage directly with users and ask them to submit their experiences. For instance, an apparel brand can ask users to share their experience of their new collection
• These videos can expand to short reviews of products and services
• Brands can publish tips and tricks to the users directly
• Videos can also help in enabling second and third screen experiences
• Videos can help in product placements (contextual) and ‘as seen on’ product e-commerce
• Short videos can be used as alerts, quick news services
With Instagram Video and Twitter’s Vine, brands have found new platforms to connect and engage their consumers in a more interactive manner. And the success of these two platforms is likely to spur more players to enter the fray as the market has scope for more entrants. This is definitely a space to watch out for.