Just when we all got used to the idea of Vine – the 6-second video app – Instagram adds the option to stream video as well as still photos. Hypothetically, I’m sure the two (now-rivaling) platforms can coexist and the world will continue per usual. The problem is, like most real things in the world, the travel industry does not thrive on the hypothetical.
Who’s using what?
Hotels, restaurants, airlines, travel publications, and cruise lines have jumped onto the Vine wagon to feature their services in an inventive and entirely new fashion. On this network, they offer a personal and unfiltered glance at what they’re doing and why you should care.
For instance, the Four Seasons uses Vine to offer a peek at what’s going on at various locations – from elephants in Thailand to their private wine cellar in Paris. Vine opened a floodgate of advancement in all types of industries, including travel and hospitality.
Likewise, the travel industry has made good use of Instagram’s photography platform. Like Vine, large amounts of companies are utilizing Instagram as a means of marketing to their savvy consumers. For example, Southwest Airlines has positively asserted themselves on Instagram by featuring photos of aerial views, customers, special giveaways, promotional deals and, most importantly, their product.
The goal in using these platforms is to reach the consumer on a more personal level. A level that allows them to see more than just what a website can offer.
They’re casual invites for a consumer to join in on the fun, follow what their favorite companies are doing, ‘like’ posts and share them. The efforts travel companies have made to use social media platforms such as Vine and Instagram is telling of their dedication to their customers and overall success of business.
So, which network is better?
Of the two, Instagram has a much broader reach, given its 130 million users and its longer standing existence.
For its part, Vine boasts about 20 million users – impressive for it’s short time on the market. It also offers a new vice in social media; the six-second video. While it may not be a long time to deliver a message, it gives companies the opportunity to publish quick, unedited videos in a completely acceptable way.
The addition of video to Instagram has created buzz in the social media marketing world. The question presents itself: how will travel companies adjust to the addition of video to Instagram, if at all? A distinguishable feature of Instagram video is the ability to use filters on video and edit them. Vine on the other hand, does not. Instagram video is up to 15 seconds, Vine only 6.
However, lets not beat up on Vine too hard. It’s still a very young network at less than a year old. Let’s not forget that it was the greatest thing since sliced bread when it was first introduced. You could get real footage of real things, people, and places. The world has hardly had a chance to embrace its raw concept, let alone use it as a marketing tool.
Many travel companies are already on Instagram, a potential problem for Vine. Users may simply not elect to check each platform to gather the latest updates, when video and photo can be accessed from one place. A hotel can post a photo of their specialty drink and a video of the renovations done to their suite sequentially? Social media bliss.
The travel industry has indeed made strides to enhance their presence in social media through the use of Vine and Instagram, but where will they go from here?
Given the strong existing usage of Instagram in the travel industry, Vine will have to bring in reinforcement. The positive that will follow this quarrel is that with competition comes an enhancement and revolutionary movement in technology. I see changes in the forecast of social media marketing in the travel industry, changes that will enhance our ability to gather information and be informed consumers.