Staff Reporters
Aug 20, 2013

Short videos the new sharing medium

MEDIA TALK: Vine and now Instagram Video are making social video more than a niche. Where do brands fit in?

L-R: Nik Lim, Nic Hodges
L-R: Nik Lim, Nic Hodges


  • Nik Lim (left): COO, Tribal DDB Malaysia
  • Nic Hodges (right): Innovation & Tech Head, MediaCom Australia

How do platforms such as Vine and Instagram Video differ from other social networks for brands?

Lim: People are used to being able to browse (and consume) rich media in a matter of seconds with a very high turnover rate (constant new updates). Vine and Instagram Video find the right sweet spot.

Hodges: Both Vine and Instagram Video are primarily asymmetric networks — for brands they are about broadcasting content to a core audience that then (hopefully) shares it further.

Which target audiences are best reached on these platforms?

Lim: Typically, it would be college students to young adults, entertainment seekers and social-network addicts. It varies according to region. Take a look at that market’s smartphone penetration and the demographic profiles of social networks.

Hodges: At the moment, it’s a more fashion-forward, young progressive audience. Where it goes from here is hard to say — if Twitter pushes Vine as a media platform it could get much broader.

How big are these platforms in Asia-Pacific?    

Lim: For Instagram Video, all it takes is an app update. Vine is probably only known by those who are either social enthusiasts or stalkers of social news feeds and content aggregator sites such as 9gag and reddit.

Hodges: The growth obviously varies by market, but all markets are seeing consistent growth.

How can brands get the most out of these platforms?

Lim: On two levels: Tempting engagement just through title and frame, and extremely high entertainment and information value from content. In short, they should act as teasers and create interest. For full video content, there’s always YouTube.

Hodges: We know that video is many times more engaging than text and images. Combined with the broadcast nature of the platforms, the best use for brands is around driving awareness through content.

What should brands be careful not to do?

Lim: Do not simply post any video for the sake of posting. These channels are being browsed for entertainment. And if you are not there to entertain, shock or awe your target audience, then you are wasting their time.

Hodges: It’s no longer possible to get away with low-budget, unprofessional content. Users are expecting beautiful, polished, professional content on these platforms.

How big a threat is Instagram Video to Twitter’s Vine?

Lim: Instagram has these advantages over Vine: Users can share with their existing network; and it shows and plays as a video on Facebook newsfeeds or timelines.

Hodges: Vine is far from mainstream. It’s yet to be decided if Instagram Video will be a success, so there’s reasonably still an opening for a new player, or for Twitter to really push Vine for brands.

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