The rumblings have been swirling for days
, but on Thursday, Instagram made it official that it’ll be offering video sharing
in addition to its current photo sharing capabilities.
Instagram’s video sharing is almost certainly a response to Twitter’s Vine app, which just surpassed 13 million users. Facebook, which acquired Instagram in April 2012
, is almost certainly viewing this move as creating its own version of Vine, considering that Instagram’s photos no longer appear in Twitter messages
anymore, but can be made into Facebook tabs. (Vine does have Facebook sharing, however.)
There are some major differences between Instagram’s new offering and Vine. Instagram’s videos will be 15 seconds rather than six and will include filters. Vine recently unveiled new features of its own
, including video drafts and a redesigned stream.
So what does this mean for PR pros, communicators, and brands?
Besides meaning another social media tool that managers will have to keep up with, observers such as Jonathan Rick, senior director of social media at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are optimistic.
“Communicators now have greater choice in choosing where to direct our resources,” he says. “It'll be interesting to see which niches Vine and Instagram video capture. Just as LinkedIn is the social network from 9 to 5 and Facebook is where we go during lunch and for happy hours, so Vine may become a news-oriented platform, whereas Instagram videos take over the cute-kitten market.”
[RELATED: Learn the 7 elements of storytelling with video at this one day video boot camp.]
Shel Holtz of Holtz Communication + Technology notes that brands have been jumping all over Vine—Vine recently overtook Instagram shares on Twitter—and this move gives Instagram the opportunity to compete for brands. Competition means more features and perks.
Some observers say the two-tools scenario isn’t going to be an issue, though. At least one PR firm blogged about how Instagram’s video feature has killed Vine
, within just a few hours of the Instagram announcement. Its argument? No one knows how to use Vine.
Brands such as Lowe’s seem to be doing pretty well with it, though
Plenty of brands are already hopping on the Instagram video bandwagon, too. Social Fresh
has already posted a list of 11 brands using the new tool
within a few hours of the unveiling.