Instagram Launches Video Creation Service: Facebook vs. Twitter, Round #333


Recently Instagram launched a video creation service. I’ve checked it out a bit over the past few weeks and it looks like it will be a great new feature for all the Instagrammers (like me).

But it does sound awfully similar to Twitter’s recently-popular Vine app.

And I’m hearing the internet chatter begin to rise: Vine is about to get their butt kicked:

  • Instagram’s video service gives you 15 seconds of video for each post, while Vine is limited to 7 seconds
  • You get a baker’s dozen filters to make your videos all hipsterriffic—just like your Instagram photos.
  • And they added a nifty video-stabilization feature called Cinema—a feature Vine users have been asking to have for a while.
  • And let’s not forget that Instagram has a MASSIVE user base, with many of them extremely active.

So yeah, I’d agree: unless Vine has a big return shot all ready to go in their back pocket, they’re about to get relegated to the pile of “we did it first but not best” apps.

But I see an even bigger plot line here: Facebook is serious about mobile content creation (and sharing, of course).

Besides the new Instagram video announcement, there’s been some additional signs I’ve noticed recently:

  • My wife noticed this week a new layout for Facebook on her iPhone—likely a test since I haven’t seen it show up on my phone.  It’s nothing revolutionary—just moving some of the primary navigation around (and likely a response to the iOS7 announcement made earlier this month)—but it does reveal their added commitment to mobile.
  • Adding hashtags to posts. A total rip from Twitter but yet another nod toward content creation and curation in a mobile world.
  • And now the addition of video creation for Instagram—as blatant an attack on Twitter’s mobile video service (Vine) as there could be.

And this means beating Twitter every chance they can.

There isn’t really another significant player in social content creation to compete against Facebook. Google+ might be there in a couple years but for the near future it’s all Facebook and Twitter. I expect to see even more big punches swinging from both sides in the ensuing months.

What does this mean for businesses and organizations?

The tools for your customers and fans to create content about your brand and only going to get better and more prolific. This means creating strategies for getting them involved in creating brand content. You can no longer own your message from the top down.

Brands, left and right, are seeing that the pyramid of communication and brand ownership has been flipped on it’s tiny point. Customers and fans and even detractors are just as loud and able to create content around your brand as your marketing coordinators, brand evangelists, and customer service reps.

So get them involved. Create strategies that delight your customers with their involvement. They’ll love you for it.