#TeamVine: Instagram Has Video Now, but Not a Video-Making Culture

The tools might be similar, but Vine already has a community and maybe even a genre.
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Instagram, i.e. Facebook, announced that users of the photo-sharing service can now make 15-second videos in the latest version of the app. The move was widely perceived as an encroachment on the short-video territory occupied by Vine, the Twitter-owned service.

Technically, Instagram video is impressive. Videos can be software stabilized or filtered, and they load in a user's timeline relatively quickly. In initial testing, the tool works well and as expected.

People are comparing the Vine's and Instagram's feature set, which makes sense. But Vine has developed a culture that's weird, young, and funny. "The vernacular video format emerging on Vine, stuff in the "most popular" list, is fascinating," BoingBoing's Xeni Jardin said yesterday. "That pop art form took no time to develop."

Over on Twitter, the hashtag #TeamVine has actually taken off, as Huffington Post's Craig Kanalley pointed out. About a dozen people a minute are swearing allegiance to Vine in the wake of the Instagram announcement. There is a self-conscious community of users who believe that a Vine is not any six-second video; it's a Vine. And those who like Vines are happy to defend their short video form from Instagram interlopers.

Instagram, too, has a culture all its own. But it's based on sharing a different kind of media. They've compressed their mission as "to capture and share the world's moments." Will 15-second videos really fit into that culture, or will it feel inappropriate, alien even? Especially when Vine got the jump in defining what short videos are supposed to be.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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