Short Sociability is Here to Stay

We finally know that Facebook will add videos to Instagram.  While moving from photos to videos may seem like a logical step, I can’t help but wonder if this move simply reflects the pressure that Facebook now feels from Twitter’s Vine app.  Pressure or not, “short sociability” is here to stay. An instant sensation, Vine launched in January of 2013 and already boasts 13 million iPhone users.  Only one day after it released an Android version of the app, Vine passed Instagram in total Twitter shares, and it is currently the number-one downloaded app for Android, placing Instagram in second.

There’s no question about the popularity of short sociability. Just look at GIFs (graphic interchange format).  First created in 1987, these animated pictures are now more popular than ever.  Vine’s six second videos are based on the same idea as Twitter’s 140 character limit.  By imposing a limit on social interactions, users are forced to be more concise and more creative.  While it may seem easy to shoot a video in six seconds, it actually takes a great deal of thought and creativity to tell a story in that amount of time.

As Vine’s popularity soars, brands are beginning to tap into its potential, including brands in the retail and food & beverage sectors.  Lowe’s posts home improvement tips in six-second Vine videos while Bacardi uses Vine to demonstrate how to make a variety of cocktails in six seconds or less.  The Gap, Urban Outfitters and Doritos are among many brands also using this platform to engage with consumers.  Even General Electric, a 121-year-old company, is using Vine to market to a much younger brand with its #6secondscience clips.

Besides engaging with consumers through uploading short videos of new products, upcoming events, company contests, etc., Vine gives brand marketers the ability to tell a story.  The time-limit fosters creativity, forcing brands to make their upload matter, keeping audiences engaged.  With Instagram’s new video feature, it is clear that short sociability isn’t going anywhere.  Do you plan on introducing short sociability into your marketing strategy? How?

Emma Kieckhafer is an Account Executive at Greenough. Send her an email: ekieckhafer@greenoughcom.com.