Although the mobile-video app Vine launched launched only five months ago, it has quickly become an online phenomenon, even overtaking Instagram in shares on Twitter and Google Play downloads. Facebook has taken notes of the six-second videos taking over the web, and has announced that Instagram is adding video.
Instagram will offer users the ability to shoot and share short videos and, Facebook hopes, begin to compete with Vine, which was bought by Twitter in October and was debuted in January.
In just four months since its launch, Vine has accumulated 13 million users. Instagram, which has more than 100 million users, needed over a year to get its 10millionth user. Currently, Vine is the second most popular free app in the iPhone App Store, while Instagram is No. 19.
Self-described hacker John Muellerleile explains Vine’s appeal: "When you go to make a Vine, it gives you a view of what it will record, recording only while your finger is actually touching the screen, stopping when you take your finger away. You can take as many shots as you want, but the total duration cannot be any more than six seconds."
"People like consuming video, sure, but it's almost shocking how much people love making videos too," Jordan Crook wrote this week on the technology blog TechCrunch. "When I see something cool happening out in the world, Instagram is no longer enough."
After Facebook beat out Twitter to buy Instagram in April, Twitter went looking for the next big thing and came across Vine. Most recently, Yahoo bought Tumblr.
In the fast-evolving world of simple expression apps Facebook may be too late to the game. Recently, Facebook tried to challenge Snapchat with their Poke app, which if anything, only drew more users to Snapchat by bringing the concept to a larger audience. Observers therefore say Facebook's move into video may just fuel Vine's popularity. Although Facebook will benefit from Instagram's enormous user-base, Facebook should probably be looking for the next big thing, which at the current pace of internet startups will likely explode onto the internet scene in the coming months.