It's been over two weeks since Facebook added video to their popular photosharing app, Instagram, and many pundits are already declaring Vine to be dead, or at least redundant. While Vine usage has undeniably dropped-off since mid-June, savvy marketers can still get value out of the quirky mobile video platform.
You Don't Have To Use One Or The Other
Now that Instagram allows users to capture and share video as well as photos, with the same start/stop recording features as Vine, marketers are endlessly debating "which is better" and "which should you use," as if you can only use one.
The truth is that you don't have to choose just one. If you're a marketer who has taken Vine seriously over the past six months, it's likely that you've built a community of followers and generated some engagement via Twitter and elsewhere from your Vine videos. Why discard those followers?
The drop in Vine usage may be an opportunity, rather than a signal to cut your losses and move on. With less Vines being produced and share, you'll have less competition and noise to cut through. Furthermore, those users who stay loyal to Vine represent a more captive audience for your content. Data shows that there's still an opportunity for Vine influencers.
If You Use Both, Don't Duplicate Content
Your Instagram and Vine followers represent two very distinct audiences. Those on Instagram are accustomed to seeing photos, while Vine followers specifically signed up and followed accounts to see videos. Given these unique communities, you may want to slowly introduce videos to Instagram.
While both can support short videos, each has unique engrained content styles. Vines are typically quirky and sometimes irrevent, while Instagram content is more muted and instrospective. That's why it's a bad idea to all of a sudden post the same kind of video content on Instagram as you are on Vine, just because you can. Instead, take a targeted approach and do something different on each. Vine tends to be ideal for announcements (see: Taco Bell, Wolverine) while Instagram works for more personal, human moments.
Asking "should you use Vine or Instagram?" is on par with asking "should you use Twitter or Facebook?" Don't let a new competitive feature set scare you away from a network or tool. Meet your audience where they are, and tailor content for their specific personas. You should only ditch Vine if and when your returns diminish - and I'm guessing the proclamation of the death of Vine might be a bit premature.