The social video wars have begun: Instagram vs. Vine vs. Viddy

versusYou have more options for social video than ever! In the wake of Instagram’s video update, battle lines are being drawn. So where are you going to cast your allegiance? If you need help deciding (and can’t imagine being dedicated enough to use multiple platforms – no shame, that sounds horrible) here are how three of the major social video apps stack up against each other.

Filters

Instagram

Video for Instagram comes with 13 new filters (new meaning different than the stills filters). According to Instagram, they were created with help from artists who specialize in creating filters for video.

Vine

N/A

Viddy

Viddy features 15 filters, as well as the option to shoot your video with the flash on the entire time you’re recording. Here are Instagram (R) versus Viddy filters (L). 

filters video versus

Timing

Instagram

Videos can be as long as 15 seconds; you also have the option to film a video in clips to create a “collage” effect.

Vine

Part of Vine’s fame is tied to its 6-second rule. Videos loop for a GIF-like effect, and you can also apply the “hold-and-release” method to make a video that features a set of individually recorded moments.

Viddy

Viddy puts both Instagram and Vine to shame (if longer video is what you’re looking for): Viddy has a max length of 30 seconds. Like Instagram and Vine, you can hold-and-release to take individual segments that are strung together for the video.

Features and editing

Instagram

In addition to the filters, Instagram includes a feature called Cinema, which drastically improves the stability of the video. Handheld video, being what it is, can be very shaky. However, we’re noticing that videos with the effect appear somewhat modulated, sort of blurred around the edges on the finer details if you will. 

Cinema is automatically on and you have to toggle it off, for the record.

Last but not least, you can individual trash clips you don’t like. If it’s a straight, one-shot take, then this is a no-go, but if you took individual clips and strung them together, these separate clips can be trashed as you see fit.

Vine

Vine is what it is: Meaning, beyond holding your thumb down over the screen to capture moments to be looped into eternity, there’s not much else you can do with your posts. There’s no real editing included. The one option: You can flip to the front-facing camera.

Viddy

While Vine might be sparse, and Instagram fairly simple, Viddy pulls out all the stops: You can add a frame to your camera to keep things level; you can rotate flip to the front-facing camera; you can leave your flash on – and that’s all just while you’re shooting. In addition to filters, you can add music or trim the video.

Search and discovery

Instagram

Video for Instagram functions the exact same way as stills do in this regard: If you open up the explore tab, you can see a host of popular, much-liked photos, or you can search by users or hashtags. You won’t be prompted with anything here, except for hashtags you’ve recently used.

You can, of course, also hit hashtags showing up from users in your own feed.

When it comes to Web, you’ll have to rely on a third party app like Statigram or Webstagram for discovery; Instagram doesn’t have any such built-in functionality.

Vine

Vine nearly puts Instagram to shame when it comes to hashtagging the bejesus out of content, so that’s probably one of the easiest ways to find different types of Vines. The Explore tab is also quite useful, divided into “Editors picks,” “Popular now,” and “Trending” categories.

You can also go off on your own and search by users or tags – you might find some incredibly lewd content, however. Or some just plain weird stuff.

As far as Web goes, Vinecrawler is probably the best app that gives you control over what you’re looking for. Vinepeek is fun, though totally pulling up Vines at random.

Viddy

Under Viddy’s Explore tab, you’ll find a bevy of options. You can search Viddy by the “Featured,” “Popular,” “Who to follow,” “Newest,” “Recommended,” “Celeb,” or “Funny” tabs. Actually, there are way more than that – a few popular hashtags are in there, like #dogsofviddy and #summer as well. The list goes on; suffice it to say that Viddy is doing a lot to help you find what it is you’re looking for (even if you don’t know what that is yet).

You can, of course, also click on hashtags within your feed to find something as well. Viddy doesn’t have a Web client, though, so there’s no search effort online.

Community and vibe

(Understand that what are following are generalizations about the communities within these apps – there are going to be some clichés. But that doesn’t make them – in large – true. Majority, OK? )

Instagram

Instagram has a pretty set vibe and community going on, given its start as a photo-sharing app (and one that stole the world’s heart!). It’s a fairly creative, artsy, hipster-loving, bohemian-type community. Sure, you’re got your comedians and celebrities and your users who simply post about their gratuitous lifestyle, but for every picture of Snoop on a red carpet, there are 100-vintagey looking photos of someone’s breakfast. Or a rusty Airstream trailer. 

Vine

Vine is still in an experimental phase, but early on it’s defining itself as a quirky place for weird, funny, inexplicable videos. Comedians – knowns and unknowns alike – have taken to the app, as have graphic artists who are interested in playing with this new, 6-second looping medium.

And of course, there’s the porn. But more than anything, Vine sort of feels like a big inside joke for everyone who’s becoming a dedicated user.

Viddy

Viddy is impossible to pinpoint. There are celebrity-featuring videos galore, epic sunsets, dogs (lots of dogs), and lots of selfies that are sort of self-reporting mini-videos. The community is a hard one to pinpoint; it feels very all over the place. It’s for anyone and everyone, which works to its advantage as well as its disadvantage; being all-inclusive means that everyone is welcome, but that means you can’t create a niche community that uses an app in a dedicated, obsessive way.

Feed

Here are what the feeds of each look like, side-by-side (from left to right, Instagram, Vine, and Viddy). The biggest difference between them, of course, is that Instagram has stills in addition to video. Instagram and Vine auto-play when the thumbnail is fully viewed in the display; Viddy does a sort of transparent slideshow before you press play. Sound is only on when you have headphones plugged in for all of them.

insta feeds

Sharing

Instagram

You can natively push your Instagram stills and videos to Facebook (duh). Facebook – for some reason that is beyond me – won’t translate tagged Instagram names to tagged Facebook names, but otherwise the embeds look quite nice.

You can share to Tumblr nicely as well.

You can share Instagrams to Twitter, but they are ugly links, like this.

Vine

Vine supports Twitter cards, so you get a nice effect within the stream.

However, Vine still doesn’t really have its own site for viewing the content. Users don’t have a Web profile; really this is because Twitter wants to keep eyes in Twitter only and bumping you out to a nice Web viewer isn’t in its best interest. Which is too bad, because it would be great to be able to see a collection of someone’s Vines other than via smartphone.

You can share Vines to Facebook, but you’ll be bumped out in order to actually view said Vine. (Every time I tried to share one to Facebook, however, I got an error.)

Viddy

You can share Viddy videos to Twitter, where they will play within the stream. 

You can also play them within Facebook

It’s time for the side-by-side comparison

These videos are all fairly different subject and situation-wise, but they should give you an idea of what each is capable of and the sort of thing you’re likely to see within each network. 

Instagram 

Vine

 Viddy

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