Instagram has added a video feature to its app, making the Facebook-owned service a more direct competitor of Vine. Instagram, an app that lets users take photos, add fun filters and share images through the service and connected social media networks, is wildly popular.

Vine, a video-sharing app owned by Twitter, has grown in popularity since it was acquired by Twitter earlier this year. The app lets users take 6-second videos and share them with their friends. When Vine first gained momentum, some wondered if it would lure users away from Instagram. Instagram has 100 million active users, so while it doesn’t appear Instagram has lost favorability among social media users, the app may be attempting to stay ahead of the curve by offering video services.

Instagram’s short-video approach is a little different than Vine’s. It lets users take 15-second videos, use filters and create cover images from video stills. Users will have thirteen filters to choose from and the cover photos will make it possible for videos to be visually appealing in a news feed, even before they are played.

Many businesses are still jumping on the Vine bandwagon, finding ways to use short videos to reach and inspire their audience. But, Instagram will add more to this avenue of communication since businesses can record longer videos, use more creative tools and possibly reach a new market through the new feature.

There’s no doubt that Instagram has a big following. The app’s huge user base shares 45 million photos and likes 1 billion posts each day. Instagram tends to attract users in their twenties and early thirties, and caters to an artistic crowd that enjoys snapping pictures of everyday moments, artistically editing them and then sharing them with friends. These same users are likely the ones that will be using the new video feature, and Instagram may gain even more users now that it offers video services.

If your business has already adopted Vine, or even if it has yet to use video social media, Instagram’s new video feature could help you build your online brand. Video gives you the ability to bring things to life in ways photos can’t. Sharing short clips from events, showing off products, sending short messages from your employees or giving your market an inside look at your business are all great ways to use short videos in your marketing efforts.

Why use Instagram instead of Vine? Besides the obvious benefit of being able to post longer videos, Instagram already has a massive following and a strong audience you could reach. Vine is still relatively new, and your market may not be using it yet. However, if your target market already uses Instagram, using videos to post messages would be a natural step in developing your marketing strategy.

If you haven’t started using Instagram, now may be a great time to open an account. If your target market’s demographics are similar to Instagram’s user demographics, this social media channel can be a valuable marketing tool for your business.


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