Instagram has made some updates to its App and platform lately that bring its video features into direct competition with Vine. Mashable has a concise write up of the features. Videos will now loop continuously, just like Vine, which has always sported the infinite loop look.
Instagram is a mobile app and social network built around taking photos and adding filters then sharing them with friends – short form video of 3 to 15 seconds long was added in 2013. Instagram was bought by Facebook in 2012.
Vine is a dedicated short form video creation a sharing platform launched in June 2012 and bought by Twitter in October 2012. Each ‘Vine’ is limited to 6 seconds long. Vine like Instagram is popular with a huge range of people.
Looping Video Impact
Instagram already has a huge following, as does Vine. Instagram currently has 300 Million active users (Dec 2014) while Vine has a user base of 40 million (2013). The addition of video to Instagram added an extra level of creativity for users.
The looping video functionality added recently, might have been seen as intrusive initially – like Facebook’s automatic play functionality but actually it makes a lot of sense. Hence why Vine has always had this function.
The fact is that short form video is generally made for repeat watching, so to loop videos just means that the viewer doesn’t have to bother with pressing play again. Content creators pack as much content as possible into such small videos so many need to be watched a few times at lease. Many are designed or shot to be seamless loops.
What can looping short form video do for marketing?
Short form video via Vine or Instagram might not seem like a very useful tool – what can you get across in 13 or even 6 seconds? Quite a lot actually. And many brands are using both to showcase themselves and build huge social followings.
- Short form video is very shareable, making it great to spreading your brand and message. Both Vine and Instagram allow sharing between accounts as well as outside of their platform – see above and below for embedded examples.
- The restricted length of the video also encourages sharing in the first place. Like with web video in general – the shorter the better, clicking play on a short video is not a huge time commitment. 3 – 15 seconds is great for modern short attention spans.
- The short length of the looping videos also creates a very attractive way for brands to get into using video. As the videos can be shot directly from the Vine or Instagram App on a smartphone there is very little equipment or production cost.
- The short form looping videos also mean that taking tine to produce content is not a big impact on available business time.
Looping Video Become Brand Videos
Ultimately the short form of looping video encourages creativity. The message needs to be simple, attractive and clear. It encourages you to dig down past the buzzwords and polish to the core of your brand experience. In the examples above we see the experience of the brands rather than too much actual focus on products themselves.
These mini looping videos are in many ways Brand Videos. They showcase the story and experience of what makes a brand unique.
Do you think there’s room for looping video in your marketing mix?