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article imageOp-Ed: Is Vine fast food versus Instagram's perceived dining experience?

By Michael Krebs     Jun 20, 2013 in Internet
In a PC World assessment, Twitter's Vine short-form video application was compared to "fast food," while Facebook's Instagram answer was deemed "a nicer restaurant," but which is it?
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg likely fancies himself a trailblazer - operating within the context of the shifty social media landscape where integrity yields ideas and ideas yield opportunities, where markets are determined by innovation and by agility and by a first-to-market frontier mentality that has historically delivered impressive technologies in agriculture and in transportation and in the industries that have defined modern humanity.
However, the Zuckerberg truths are separate from the drama instilled in the language of innovation or of agility. This is told well in the 2010 feature The Social Network, and it is retold again in the current short-form video drama between Twitter's Vine application and that of the Instagram offering issued on Thursday.
Facebook competes on numerous planes. It operates effectively against Google in the search versus social game, fighting for advertising share against the most successful search engine in the history of the Internet. It increasingly operates against closed-system vendors like Microsoft who have fought tooth and nail against the open-source and cloud computing revolution that Google and Facebook and others have long embraced.
But in the end, Facebook has delivered a fairly stable and vanilla product - an experience tied to photographs and to the posted experiences of its broad user base. And sure, videos play a role in the Facebook experience, but they are overwhelmingly shared from secondary sources and not necessarily the first-hand products of the Facebook audience.
Part of the reason for this was the fact that video options have always been very broad - and file weights and video lengths have been somewhat limited in terms of uploads. There are certainly ways around this, but curiously they primarily involve a healthy incorporation of Google's YouTube solution.
Enter Vine.
The Vine short-form video application was introduced by Twitter in January 2013. It has since exploded to over 13 million users through iPhone alone. From April to May, Vine has seen a dramatic upward trajectory of 40 percent. In short, Vine has been a phenomenon - and it represents a fascinating confluence of video, social, mobile, and local.
Vine's success is due in part to its quirkiness. The Vine user is expected to tell a narrative within a 6-second window, and this challenge has delivered some humorous and creative results.
But Vine's trajectory has also caught the attention of Facebook's executives who have struggled to make money from their Instagram product. Earlier this week, it was announced that Instagram would offer a Vine-like video service. However, the videos would be 15 seconds long at their maximum length, and the Instagram product would offer editing features and video stabilizing features not currently available on Vine.
All of this has led PC World to ask if the Instagram short-form video offering would present an end to Twitter's Vine application.
But while Instagram currently has a larger audience than Vine, the question that comes into play here is one of initial recognition. Sure, we are operating in a free market economy, and anything goes in the supply and demand equation - but there should be something said for the frontier innovation that Vine represents. And while first-generation innovators are often truncated by advantageous second-generation adaptation, it is particularly disappointing that Zuckerberg - a questionable thief - is behind this latest move from Instagram.
Video is video and creativity is creativity. Sure. And Darwinism in business will force Vine to grow different extensions. But the short-form video game is one that is defined at the individual frame - and it is Vine's innovations that have effectively rekindled interest in the coming together of mobile and social and local and video.
The marketing boom that follows is Vine's institution.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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