Once upon a time, if someone wanted to create a short video to share on a social media network they needed to film it on their device, upload it to YouTube or Vimeo and post it to their Facebook account for all to see.

This technique, although long winded, was easier and quicker than using Facebook’s sketchy video upload facility.

As video content becomes more popular, and ultimately as quick to produce as an image or a status update, networks have begun to appear like Vine, who focus purely on video and have forced existing platforms to up their video capabilities or, in Instagram’s case, begin including video in its network.

This post aims to discuss the pros and cons of both Vine, the game changer, and Instagram, the world’s most famous set of filters after Photoshop.

The benefits of Vine

Vine is the new darling of the social media scene and was snapped up by Twitter late last year. Before this, Vine consisted of a three-man team and wasn’t even launched! A recent user count showed Vine’s current user base to be around 40 million, a number that had tripled in the months prior to the count. It is estimated with the current growth Vine is experiencing that it will exceed Instagram’s user base by next spring.

Vine is famous for its ability to shoot video clips with minimal fuss, partly because of its stripped down interface. Vine doesn’t have any auto-stabilisation on its videos but this makes it ideal for stop motion and edgier video clips. This basic functionality has led to many “Vinebrities” producing some amazing videos and amassing quite the following in the process.

Vine is also extremely addictive. The auto-play function on the app’s main feed immediately catches your attention and allows you to watch numerous videos in a short space of time.

The advantages of Instagram

Instagram was famously purchased by Facebook in April last year for a cool $1 billion in cash and stock, with Instagram’s 9-strong team acquired as part of the deal.

Instagram allows 15 second videos to be shot and added to its feed alongside other user videos and images. Like Vine, users can start and stop the recording process and create stop motion videos and videos with cut scenes. The shooting process also benefits from video stabilisation, allowing amateur videographers to shoot like a pro. Once videos have been recorded the user can add filters to the footage and choose a thumbnail to display the video in the main feed.

At the last count Instagram had a user base of 130 million, with this number rising monthly, especially after the purchase by Facebook. Instagram is also accessible via a desktop site too, allowing you to log in and view photos and videos.

Vine’s downfall

The main problem with Vine is the length of its videos. Six seconds really does force the user to be ultra creative to get noticed and the lack of post productions tools and filters does make this a lot harder. The app also lacks in the thumbnail department meaning the videos are added to the main feed with autoplay set once its downloaded onto your device. This can be quite annoying for the user when browsing current videos as once loaded they all autoplay once displayed.

Vine is also “app-only” with no desktop version. This means, should you come across a link to a Vine video on a webpage or through Twitter (its father), the majority of the time you are taken to a landing page asking you to download and install the app.

Videos produced in Vine can also feel a little too raw and sketchy. This may work for some, but with the lack of audio (there is no ability to add soundtracks) videos can seem a little too odd.

Instagram’s foibles

Other than the inability to add music to videos I couldn’t find anything else wrong with Instagram!


Instagram wins. It really is an all-rounder. It excels for personal use, be it image blogging or just being damn creative. More and more businesses are adopting it into their social media campaigns too, see Starbucks for example.

The clincher for me though is the seamless integration with Facebook that allows photos and videos to be shared with the social media giant’s one billion strong fan base.

So which network do you prefer? Are there any particularly positive or negative aspects of each that I’ve missed? Or perhaps you’ve found a ‘workaround’ for some of the issues raised?