Monday, 24 June 2013

Short form video gets traction

When Twitter introduced Vine, the six second video format, last year, it was met with a rather muted reaction. After the inevitable flurry of sign ups and people starting to use it, interest seemed to drop off. Other than some mildly engaging stop motion videos there seemed little real utility for it as a medium and indeed, as many pointed out, short-form video had existed in conjunction with Twitter for years with services like Twitvid.

Interestingly though in the last couple of months it's seen a gradual emergence as people have got to grips with it. It's been used to great comic effect with 'Ryan Gosling won't eat his cereal', but more significantly from a marketing perspective the DIY brand Lowe has found a quite brilliant use for it to publish 6 second home maintenance master classes and suddenly Vine seems to be popping up all over Twitter as part of different brands' Twitter content strategies.

Then last Thursday the short-form video sharing space hotted up. Instagram, the Facebook owned photo sharing network, launched a short-form format. Users can record up to 15 seconds, 9 seconds more than Vine, it has 13 custom filters, and users have the ability to select their own thumbnail as well. Instagram usage figures are huge, with 16 billion photos posted and with 1 billion likes a day, so it wasn't surprising that hours after the Instagram launch Twitter started to send emails to its user base promoting Vine. The launch is undoubtedly a direct attack on Vine and Instagram's much broader range of usage and customisation could prove, yet again, that first mover advantage is not all it’s cracked up to be.