For Social media video, the last few weeks have been very interesting. Until the June 20 Instagram video launch, Twitter’s Vine app had become the recent darling of Social Media Video. Vine, with their 6-second video format, is one of the largest app growth stories in recent history. In the newest Internet Trends Report by Mary Meeker, Vine’s active user base grew from 2% to nearly 8% of iPhone owners in the U.S. between January and April. I was among those quickly addicted to Vine videos, creating content, checking my feed almost as much as my other social sites. When Instagram launched their 15-second version of a Vine-like app, the buzz around short social media video clips grew enormously, and both Instagram and Vine have since benefited.
Social media-influenced video continues to soar in popularity. Online video audiences are projected to double in 2016, reaching 1.5 billion people globally, according to Cisco. A study by comScore found that in April 2013, 63 million people in the U.S. watched a video on Facebook, and that among major websites, Facebook had the fastest-growing online video audience over the previous 10 months, and is only second to Google in video audience size.
There is also an evolution occurring on this content medium…video length is shrinking. Face it, many of us have short attention spans, and we’re not willing to commit to watching a lengthy YouTube video. Increasingly in our busy lives, we prefer to snack on video during short spans of times (waiting for our Starbucks, in between baseball innings). I would argue that the 6-second constraint of Vine, or the 15 seconds for Instagram, forces content creators to focus on quick messaging, and quality, within those precious few seconds. If the user likes that they see, they may be willing to watch more quick videos from this source, or potentially follow them.
For businesses who want succeed in social media-influence video, whether that is YouTube, Vine or Instagram, the message is to “keep it brief”. Studies show that shorter the videos get higher user engagement throughout the entire video segment. If you focus on producing short videos with great content, your audience will view them more…and share them more. Businesses can be successful with gaining engagement on shorter social media videos by capturing catchy, compelling and high quality content, while cutting out the fluff and instead getting straight to the message.
So who is right and who will win, Vine or Instagram? I believe they both will, since they are embracing the trend for quick snippets of video content, that delivers both delivers their message and encourages sharing and engagement.