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Instagram video? We heard it on the Twitter Vine

09 Aug 13

So far winning the social media battle, but not necessarily the war, the prospect of video features in Instagram should come as no surprise.

Since launching on June 20, the new video-sharing tool has beaten Twitter's Vine service to a pulp, with the Facebook-owned platform enjoying 50% more links being shared online.

Signaling a new era for the popular photo-sharing service, CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed "we're really just getting started with this product."

Yet the enthusiasm of the young billionaire is not widespread.

Speaking with NetGuide following the release, Ovum's principal consumer analyst Eden Zoller reminds:

“Since acquiring Instagram in 2012, Facebook has given the distinct impression that it does not know what to do with it, having made little progress with any significant enhancements to the service."

Admitting that adding video capability for Instagram both on iOS and Android does make sense however, Zoller sees the move as no major shock, and if anything suggests Facebook could have struck sooner.

"Given the importance of mobile and video for Facebook, the prospect of video features in Instagram should come as no surprise," she says.

"And given the popularity of Twitter’s Vine service, it is perhaps more surprising that Facebook has not introduced video for Instagram sooner.

"There is no doubt Twitter will move quickly to up the ante on Vine and this could undercut Facebook’s efforts with video on Instagram."

Twitter launched Vine in January this year, allowing users to upload and share six-second long clips as opposed to Instagram's 15 seconds offering.

But despite Vine shares dropping nearly 40% in the days before and after Facebook's release, users have frequently topped the three million mark in the past - suggesting a solid user base for the completely new platform.

The short mobile video war as it is known, is hotting up. Whether the new-fangled novelty of Instagram Video compared to the now six months old Twitter Vine is the main reason for change who knows?

Ironically Instagram video is taking over Twitter and would argue it is winning not just the battle but the all-out war.

Zoller however thinks Zuckerberg and co must not rest on their laurels, rather ramp up their efforts to turn ideas into dollars - notoriously Facebook's biggest problem.

"Facebook will need to come out with something compelling, particularly in light recent lack lustre new initiatives such as Facebook Home, and also ensure that the video features on Instagram are in keeping with the ease of use and simplicity that have made the core photo sharing service so popular," she says.

"But new features aside, Facebook still needs to come up with a strategy for how to monetise Instagram which so far it has failed to do."

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