Sep 30, 2013

Short Form Video: 5 Reasons for the Revolution

Chris Harris
Sep 30th, 2013 - 3 mins read

smartphone short form video

Video on the internet is nothing new. Big players like Youtube (founded in 2005), DailyMotion (2005) and Vimeo (2004) have been around for nearly a decade. Its true to say since their creation these video sites have disrupted the traditional televised media industry, film industry and even the music industry to a point.

But now there are a few new kids on the block, namely Vine and Instagram (who introduced video in July 2013) are challenging how we create, consumer and share video online. Just as Twitter broke the format for social networking, through tweets of 140 characters or less, these video social networks – which live on mobile – are making us think very differently about video content. And there’s something quite amazing about how we raise our creativity when restricted by a format, whether that’s 6 seconds of video, 140 characters, a gif or even 10 syllables per line…

There are differences between the two platforms too. Instagram offers a superior features list including vintage filters, video stabilisation and being able to back and edit your last clip. Also its integration with its owner Facebook is very handy. However, Vine’s 6 second clips is a strong format advantage over Instagram’s 15 seconds.


And we as consumers are loving it. Why? Here are five reasons behind the short-form video revolution:


1) Low barrier to entry

No longer do you need an expensive camera or DSLR to shoot great, compelling video footage. A smartphone, a situation and a good eye is all that’s needed, meaning creating video has never been easier or more affordable. And with the established networks on Instagram and Vine, with the right content you can reach an audience instantly.


2) Improvements in technology

Smartphone companies are constantly improving their camera capabilities. The latest iPhone 5 from Apple has an 8 megapixel camera with 1080p HD video capabilities built in. Plus the apps themselves have features like image stabilisation built in to help with shooting. That’s a decent bit of kit which fits in your pocket, allowing you to just focus on being in the right place at the right time to capture that next video hit.


3) Brand adoption

Brands have leapt onto these new platforms to reach audiences. How many Instagram-firsts have we seen in the past few years? The Steve Jobs biopic premiered the trailer on Instagram this year, The Wolverine’s teaser trailer on Vine and brands such as Microsoft, McDonalds, AirBnB and Virgin have each tested Vine with creative campaigns. Both video services offer a real opportunity for brands to create video content very easily with little time and investment, in comparison to a Youtube strategy.


4) Ever-growing audience

At today’s count Instagram has 150m monthly active users, and Vine recently reported more than 40m users are using their service, highlighting the popularity of both platforms. More and more users are consuming their video entertainment online, over 48 billion videos per month in the US alone.


5) Limitless Creativity

Despite what looks like a linear format, users are getting creative with what you can do with a few seconds of video. Stop motion, storytelling, contests, mini-ads and behind the scenes have become popular as well as aggregator services like BrandsOnVine that combine

Hopefully with new product features in the future, more collaborative social projects will be possible in a similar way to the quite brilliant Star Wars Uncut project.



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Chris Harris
Sep 30th, 2013 - 3 mins read