Some Lessons From Vine
USV is an investor in Twitter so I've been watching the Vine story closely. As AllThingsD reports, Vine continues to grow in the wake of Instagram's video feature launch. Vine is a top ten free app on iOS and top 25 on Android in the US. So the addition of video to Instagram has not seemingly hurt Vine very much.
I've asked my kids and their friends about this and I've observed behavior a bit and that tells me a few things:
1) the social pressure to post something great to Instagram is high among the hyperactive social media teens that make up an important cohort on these services. it's easier to take risks on Vine, where most people have less followers, than it is on Instagram
2) as a result Vine videos are funnier, edgier, and crazier than those posted on Instagram
3) scrolling through the Instagram feed casually looking through photos and liking them is interrupted by playing videos and many Instagram users I talk to don't end up playing a lot of the videos that are posted there.
4) Vine is all about video and so it does not suffer from the "being part of the photo feed" problem
Once again, it appears that the category creating innovator isn't hurt too badly when the bigger and more popular social platform copies their signature feature in their product. We have seen this before with Twitter and Facebook and Foursquare and Facebook and many other similar situations.
My guess is Vine will continue to grow in popularity as long as the Vine team can improve the service and make it better and better over time. And as a Twitter investor, I sure hope they do.