It almost seems like a petty fight, but hours after Vine arrived on Android – finally – we get to see how it really fares against existing social networks (it piggybacks Twitter, but is separate, know what I mean?) like the still new-ish Instagram. Sure, it feels like an apples to oranges comparison, but they’re also similar enough that we can draw severe comparisons and dismiss one entirely. Namely, Vine, because it’s silly.
1. The Video
C’mon now, it’s 2013. We’re in an era now where there are just as many Android apps as there are iOS apps. For a free app that you’re not monetizing, it shouldn’t take so bloody long to get an Android version up and running. Vine launched for iOS at the end of January and has already noted 13 million downloads. I understand there’s hardware differentiation and that, but why make people wait?
2. The Video
Capturing six seconds of video isn’t quite as easy as it seems. You have to be a lot more creative or your Vine is going to be really super dumb. No one wants to see you panning your camera across junk or your amateur hour trying to piece clips together. There’s something very organic in just recording everything in-camera that I enjoy, but then there’s not a lot of interface for doing so, either. You hold the preview window to record and there’s a massive grey field underneath that doesn’t do anything. I thought Vine hadn’t loaded right or something. nope, it just looks silly. People can do some impressive things with Vine, but it’s much easier to snap a single photo and be done with it with Instagram.
3. No Filters/Post-Processing
I know, I know, Instagram’s filters can be super dumb, but they can also give a boring photo some charm or help your photo out when light didn’t work out the way you wanted it to. Vine keeps it all in-camera, so whatever you got, that’s it. Sure it could get annoying, but options are options.
4. No Community
Vine being much smaller than Instagram, it’s hard to throw something out there and get a response. It’s like what happened to Twitter, but in reverse; what was once an interesting community is just an ocean of noise while Vine is like pinging the darkness. Meanwhile, on Instagram, people respond. They get involved. Instagram’s built a heckuva community and it shows.
5. Auto-playing videos
Okay, I get there’s some magic in how Vine displays videos. There’s something so cool about scrolling up and down a page and it’s just videos happening, portals into different worlds. That’s all clever and interesting. Unfortunately, people make really annoying Vines and honestly, I’d prefer they have a trigger before they start rolling. Would it ruin the illusion? Possibly. Would it be a lot less annoying? Absolutely.