Late last month, Instagram released Instagram Video, a micro-video creation service very similar to Vine. In the fortnight leading up to Instagram Video’s release, Vine videos were being shared far more frequently on Twitter than Instagram videos: on some days, in fact, there were twice as many Vine videos shared than Instagram images. In the days after Instagram Video’s release, however, the number of Vine videos being shared on Twitter fell dramatically, dropping below Instagram.
Instagram Video’s release, then, had a clear negative effect to Vine’s popularity and, even though Instagram didn’t see any change in its own mention rates on Twitter, it did strike a severe blow to its rival – a blow made even more significant by the fact that it occurred on Vine’s home-turf, Twitter.
Twitter’s new updates could restore the app’s position on Twitter, as it introduces a number of useful features. The most significant of Vine’s new features is the revine button, which enables users to share Vines they discover with their own followers.
Vine has added new categorisation features to the app: there are 15 new channels in the Explore tab, from “Cats” to “Comedy”, where users can scroll through and discover Vine videos about specific themes or subjects. The “On The Rise” stream, meanwhile, displays videos that (according to the announcement post on Vine’s blog) “are starting to capture the attention and interest of the Vine community”.
Vine’s new camera tools have improved the video creation experience: users can now focus the camera, or overlay the screen with a grid to make it easier to capture the right shot. The new ghost tool, meanwhile, covers the screen with an opaque rendering of the user’s previous shot, enabling better continuity.
Vine version 1.3 also lets users protect their posts, so that only users they approve can see them. If they then choose to share a protected post on Twitter or Facebook, it will be viewable online. Protected posts are already available on Android devices, but Android users will have to wait until next week to get the full update.
Although it’s too early to work out if Vine’s updates will boost its performance on Twitter, Vine’s mentions on its parent site do appear to be increasing in number.
What do you think of Vine’s updates?