5 Reasons Why Instagram Video May Cut Down Vine

Huge battle afoot favors Facebook's mobile app

Headshot of Christopher Heine

If the video-on-Instagram presentation today at Facebook's headquarters accurately depicted how the new feature would work, it's likely time for quick product upgrades from the Twitter folks running Vine.

Here are the key details. Instagram videos are 15 seconds long, play instantly, offer a selection of dedicated filters so users can vary how their clips look, involve a crucially important "cinema" element that fixes shaky motion, entail thumbnails and will not loop.

Instagram's 130 million monthly users can update the mobile app right away on both iPhone and Android devices. The videos will be available on the web as well mobile.

For all the fun that Vine has given consumers and brands in the last five months, there are a handful of reasons why it could be in trouble if it cannot match Instagram's new ability to seemingly make amateur videographers feel good about their work.

Five potentially big problems for Vine/advantages for Instagram:

1) Longer videos

15 seconds could turn out to be a far more engaging length than Vine's six-second clips. Not to mention, in terms of advertising, that's the length of TV spots constantly employed by brands.

2) Cool filters

Anyone who has made a Vine knows that they are fun but kind of rough-looking. Instagram's filters and cinema elements really seem to give it the upper hand here.

3) Brand Engagement

On the pure marketing level again, social media teams are getting stretched like crazy these days, as they have for a few years been trying to market items with Facebook, Instagram photos, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, MySpace, Foursquare, Pinterest, etc. If brands can incorporate good-looking Instagram videos into their messaging via those channels, will they bother with Vine? It undoubtedly will be interesting to watch.

4) Built in scale and community

Instagram—as a photo-sharing app—has 10 times more users than Vine. Those folks are used to constantly updating the app, so consumers are going to start using Instagram videos in the next few days if not hours. It should not take long for it too overtake Vine in terms of sheer audience.

5) Oh yeah, and Facebook is also big

FB has a billion users who are likely going to start regularly seeing Instagram videos of children, puppies and random footage of things like street mimes. CEO Mark Zuckerberg's huge platform should be an unusally strong advantage to the forthcoming Instagram video vs. Twitter Vine battle.

The good news for Vine fans? Twitter, according to this report, is already on the case while trying to improve its mobile app in reaction to the Instagram development.

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.