Vine Continues Growth Despite Challenge From Instagram


While YouTube faces challenges from competitors like Vimeo, competition is also fierce in shorter video formats online. Vine and Instagram seem to be locked in a fight for supremacy after Instagram introduced video clips last summer.

Businesses may see benefits in using both platforms to boost their brands and engage their online followers. But if you’re trying to choose one or the other, it’s still a little early to figure out which one will wind up on top.

Vine is not only one of those social apps to which younger users seem to be gravitating. It was also the fastest growing app of 2013, expanding its audience by an estimated 403 percent, Global Web Index reports.

But since the introduction of video on Instagram about halfway through last year, its growth seems to have slowed.

Vine Has Fewer Members Total

When judged on sheer numbers, Instagram comes out on top. For example, as of August, two months after Instagram introduced video, Vine had only 40 million members.

By contrast, as of December, Instagram had about 150 million, according to the official Instagram Blog.

But Vine continues to grow and added 27 million members just since Instagram introduced its video feature, Venture Beat reports.

Registered Versus Active Users

Another of the things that makes comparing the two platforms even more confusing is that both describe their audiences in different ways.

Vine talks about the number of registered users it has. As you can imagine, this could mean quite a few people who have signed up for an account but don’t hang out very often on the platform.

Instagram gives its numbers in term of active users. Some seem to feel this gives a better idea of the audience on a social platform. This is because it refers to the number of people who are actually engaging with other members and might be viewing and sharing your content.

Of course, even with these terms, it’s hard to know exactly how active each member is. For example, suppose 80 percent of Vine users view and share video everyday. By contrast, suppose 80 percent of the “active” Instagram users only look at or share video once a month.

In fact, you may remember that back in June, Vine surpassed Instagram in the amount of content members were sharing on Twitter.

Both Are Different Communities

In the end, businesses deciding which platform to be active on must realize both communities are different. For example, Vine is a video only platform while Instagram users are sharing and viewing both photos and video.

Also, Vine videos are only 6 seconds, though the Vine team has been looking at experimenting with longer formats and other changes, Recode reports. Instagram videos are 15 seconds and also include filters and other features. Both communities also presumably have different kinds of members. So you need to decide which one is the best fit for your business.

Images: Vine, Instagram

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Mark O'Neill Mark O'Neill is a staff writer for Small Business Trends, covering software and social media. He is a freelance journalist who has been writing for over 25 years, and has successfully made the leap from newspapers and radio onto the Internet. From 2007-2013, he was the Managing Editor of

9 Reactions
  1. I love seeing two companies fighting it out because it leads to better features and better products.

  2. I think Vine and Instagram are 2 different platform and their user base is different. I feel like Vine is more for younger people and Instagram has more mature audience. I prefer Instagram but I use both Instagram and Vine for my business.

  3. I think fewer people is okay when it comes to an image sharing community. This will let me share my images privately. And it is too far to predict what will happen. For all you know, some users may shift once the advertising feature of Instagram has been launched.

  4. I haven’t tried this Vine app yet. Maybe I’ll download the app and see for myself its difference from Instagram. I’m an Instagram super active user by the way. Haha!!

  5. Love Vines’ videos that always make me laugh. The similar resource, which is not mentioned here, is Coub. Anyway, it’s interesting what new innovations this competition will bring this year.

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