War is a-brewin’. Video sharing has been slow to become part and parcel of our everyday schemata of social media, but with the success of Vine, competitors are scrambling to get in on the action. Among them? Reigning heavyweight social champ Instagram, which is reportedly adding video to its arsenal this month. Here’s how it might be able to beat Vine at its own game.
Instagram forever altered photo sharing by popularising filters that alter colour, texture and focus. Whether you love filters or despise them, there’s no question that they’ve contributed to Instagram’s appeal by simply making the mundane look pretty. Amateur video is often clumsy and drab, and Instagram could immediately stand out by tastefully spicing things up with filters.
Using Previously Shot Clips
Anything you post to Vine must be recorded in Vine. You cannot pull videos from your library, which is definitely limiting and frustrating. It means you can’t edit things in other apps or use material from other cameras. Instagram could open the doors to your previously recorded footage, as it currently does with photos, giving you more options and flexibility.
It took Instagram some time before it made users’ photo libraries viewable in their own self-contained web pages. Currently, a Vine recording can only be viewed in the app, or embedded as a card on Twitter or on another website. People love centralised viewing of their media, and Instagram would fulfil that neatly by incorporating video into the current user web pages. It could also get a pretty healthy head start, given that Vine.com is a well-established pre-existing brand.
Export as GIF
While not a very likely feature, the option to export a video (or portion of a video) as a small, self-contained, animated GIF would be the ultimate in share-ability. It would no doubt titillate the current GIF-obsessed internet audience, and would make for a supremely portable file.
Vine concocted an innovative way to compose a series of ‘edits’ using only your finger and a six-second timer. It has been great seeing how imaginative users have stretched the limits of what you can create. But it is also very limited. While Instagram has always held to a very small degree of customisability, it could push things just a bit further than Vine in terms of editing and recording options — perhaps a way to re-order or trim clips.
Instagram will have to be careful not to disturb the streamlined aspect of their user-experience, but often simple options have the potential to open the floodgates for new and interesting types of videos.
This one is kind of a stacked deck for Instagram, which enjoys the luxury of already reaching a gigantic user base. Of course, as part of Twitter, Vine theoretically has access to a similar base. However, the Vine experience was new and distinct from Twitter, an entirely separate download. If Instagram releases a decent product, many people will use it over Vine simply because they already use Instagram and don’t like the idea of having to keep track of yet another stream, yet another app.