Instagram and Vine - Sharing Snippets of Life
By Kevin Bruce Francisco - on 24 Jun 2013, 8:00am

In case you haven't heard, Instagram just launched a new update that lets users record short videos (15 seconds, to be exact) and upload it online - pretty much what Vine does, but with a shorter 6 seconds limit. For a quick background check, Facebook bought Instagram a few months back, while Twitter acquired Vine just recently. So what do these two apps have in common? How are they different? Read on and we'll find out.

In a nutshell, here are the differences and similarities of the two apps:

Instagram vs. Vine

Video Length 15 seconds 6 seconds
Filters 13 available filters Not supported
Delete last clip Supported Not supported
Import videos Not supported Not supported
Front-facing camera Supported Supported
Image stabilization Supported Not supported
Store in Gallery Supported Supported
Cover photo Supported Not supported
Autoplays when highlighted Supported Supported
Social media sharing Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, foursquare, and Email Facebook and Twitter
Loop video Not supported Supported
Embedding Not supported Supported
Geo-tagging Supported Supported
Photo map Supported Not supported

One of the main and obvious difference between these two is that Vine is solely for videos, while Instagram started out as a photography platform. Even though Vine was just released early this year (January and June 2013 for iOS and Android, respectively), there have been a large number of faithful users that enjoy this app. See Best Vines here.

In terms of video capturing, both apps have a minimalist UI that consists of a video screen, a timeline, and a button for activating the rear or front camera. For Vine, simply tap and hold any part of the screen to start recording until you reach the 6 seconds limit. However, this is not the case for Instagram since it has an additional button for recording. Tapping the screen makes the camera focus on that area and even compensates the brightness just like a normal phone camera. It's a pretty helpful feature.

A good thing about Instagram's way of recording is that the program chops the recorded parts every time you let go of the button. By doing this, you may delete the previous chunk of clip when you commit a mistake. Given the same same scenario, Vine forces you to start from the beginning. One noteworthy feature that is present only in Instagram is Cinema. Cinema is a tool that helps stabilize your video to eliminate those unwanted shakes. Users may toggle it on and off after recording. So far, Instagram is ahead of Vine in terms of features. 

Instagram chops up the clips when you pause recording.Vine keeps a solid, uneditable clip.

For both apps, you can opt not to finish the entire 6-second or 15-second limit. After the first three seconds of shooting, you can stop and share the video right away. Now, this is the part where these two apps greatly differ from each other, making Vine somehow catch up to Instagram. Instagram's playback will begin and end after 15 seconds. That's it. On the other hand, Vine loops the video back to the beginning of the clip, making it look like a .gif file. This is why I personally think there is more room for creativity from Vine users than Instagram's "storytelling" way of approach. 

On the preview page, Instagram's 13 of 19 famous filters from the original version are present to make your videos appear more "artistic", while Vine directs you straight to sharing the video after it has been previewed. 

After recording, the famous Instagram filters may be applied to the video clip.

Instagram videos may be shared to Facebook, Twitter, Email, Tumblr, and foursquare.Vine directs you to sharing the video page after the preview.

Scouting for new videos to watch, I would say I prefer Vine's since the Explore page contains only videos with hashtags presented to you for easy searching options. Instagram's layout mixes both photos and videos. It's a bit confusing and time-consuming to choose each post individually. 

Vine's Explore page is populated with hashtags and trending contents for easy browsing.Instagram's Explore page has a mix of videos and photos.

With those in mind, I believe both apps would have their own group of fans that prefer one over the other. It's just a matter of how or where they use it that'll make the difference. Personally, I would both use Vine for the random everyday happening that I want to document, and Instagram to make a more "artsy" short story with the help of its filters. 

Kevin Bruce Francisco

Kevin Bruce Francisco / Content Specialist

A graduate of Digital Filmmaking, he makes videos for HWZ TV. Kevin also writes for the company's website and magazine. An aspiring filmmaker, a music junkie, and a superhero by night.