June 17, 2013

Skype, Vine, Snapchat and Instagram: Competing for the Top Video Sharing Spot


When it comes to mobile devices, we have transformed capabilities from phone calls to text messages, text messages to photo and file sharing, MMS to e-mail and now, real-time video messaging. While video calling isn’t new, sending a video message is now just as easy as it is to send a text message, and service providers are all over the latest communications trend. Snapchat and Vine are two popular platforms used today for sharing video snippets of our lives, but they’re not the only ones trying to make it in this space. Skype launched its video messaging service, which is now a feature on the regular Skype app, for Windows 8, Mac, iOS, Android and BlackBerry.

Skype video messaging lets users record and send a video message up to three minutes long to friends and family anytime, even when they’re unavailable, on Skype. It rolled out the service to Windows 8 users for preview earlier this year but it is now available for any user free of charge.

“Just like the millions of users around the world who have already previewed video messaging, you too can now record and share a personal video message, even when your friends and loved ones are not available,” wrote Skype’s Yasmin Khan in a blog post. “Skype Video Messaging adds another great way to keep in touch with friends and family during life’s most meaningful moments. Send a video message to your friends and family today—it’s easy.  You can capture a fleeting memory, create a heartfelt reminder or simply tell a friend or family member ‘wish you were here’ even when they aren’t online.”

Snapchat recently added video capabilities to the real-time photo sharing app, but the difference is the videos follows suit for sharing photos – they self-destruct (supposedly) and have a time limit of only ten seconds. Skype’s video messaging feature isn’t designed to be a direct competitor with Snapchat, but as Snapchat serves more than 150 million snaps sent per day, the two are bound to share some of the same audience.

Twitter acquired Vine in October 2012 and launched the app in January 2013, and it quickly reached the No. 1 most popular app in Apple’s App Store and No. 4 in Google Play. Videos on Vine are only limited to a six-second length, but they add a different capabilities than the other video sharing services by allowing for stop motion and allow users to share videos on both Facebook and Twitter. As of early June, the app attracted more than 13 million iPhone users.

The rumor mill this week has all eyes on Instagram: the app is reported to add video sharing capabilities at a Facebook event on June 20. 

“Getting video on Instagram is a move that would make sense. Specifically, it looks like a direct response to the rising popularity of video-sharing services, namely Twitter’s Vine. It, and others like Viddy, Cinemagram and Socialcam, sometimes get described as ‘Instragram for video’ apps,” explained TechCrunch’s Ingrid Lunden in a recent report.  

We’ll have to wait and hear about what Facebook has under its sleeve for Instagram, but one thing is for sure – the video sharing space continues to attract more players as the capabilities of these platforms and mobile devices continue to improve. Which will be your favorite?




Edited by Ashley Caputo



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