For months and months we were told that Vine was coming “soon” with no indication of exactly how soon that would be. For what was one of the most anticipated app releases of 2013 thus far, eventually it just suddenly appeared without much ado or announcement. Vine’s Android app still lags behind its iOS counterpart in features.
Instagram was also slow to the Android party, but once it arrived its user base grew quickly – there were over 1 million downloads of the app on its first day to market. Last week’s launch covered both iOS and Android simultaneously – neither platform had to wait, although video stabilisation is only available on iOS (for now).
By now, social media buffs everywhere have had a chance to swing on the Vine (#shamelesspun). Video shares peaked at 2.9 million two weeks after the Android release, but just one day after the launch of Instagram video, those shares dropped by over 50% to 1.35 million.
Given Vine’s meagre 20 million user base, compared to Instagram’s 130 million, one has to ask, will Vine come out swinging and win the fight?
There are similarities between the two on a technical level – both are available for iOS and Android, both support stop and go style recording and allow Geotagging and discoverability, and both record in much the same format. But in terms of the videos themselves, there are definite differences – resolution, audio quality, frame and bit rates are all different, and could influence your choice. Lets compare!
(Test performed on my HTC One)
|URL||Click for Vine test video||Click for Instagram test video|
|Video length||Up to 6 seconds||Up to 15 seconds|
|Time to render||15 seconds||5 seconds|
|Video format||MP4||MP4 (in an MKV container)|
|Audio format||AAC 62.3Kbps, 44.1KHz||AAC 89.5Kbps, 48.0KHz|
|Resolution||480 X 480||640 x 640|
|Frame rate||24 p/s||30 p/s|
|Available on||4.0 and above||4.1 and above to use video|
|Share on||Vine, Facebook, Twitter||Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr, Flickr|
|Audio||Always on||Always on|
|Filters||None||Filters (different to standard Instagram filters)|
|Loops in app||Yes||No|
Vine uses a higher bit rate with better compression to output smaller files (and they take longer to process), while Instagram outputs higher quality video, includes editing abilities and has better sharing options.
If you’re a business looking to display your ads, you’ll probably gravitate towards Instagram with its larger install base and longer 15-second limit – although you’ll have to crop or matte your video to fit the square frame on either service.
For some reason, Vine videos also take an eternity to buffer before playback can begin – often longer than it takes to watch the 6 seconds of video itself, a definite mark against the service.
Instagram’s larger output size could be a downside to those browsing their timeline with limited data, but users can combat this by turning off auto-play in the settings menu. Apart from this, and the lack of looping playback, Instagram seems to be is the clear winner in this fight. Vine, in comparison becomes merely a point, shoot and post app – a swing and a miss (Ok, no more vine puns).
Do you have a preference? Does the video quality and features affect your vote? Let us know in the comments below.