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Instavid's 1-Year Birthday Sees It Failing to Live Up to the Early Hype

  |  June 20, 2014   |  Comments

As we celebrate one year of video on Instagram, here's a look at how the platform's videos are truly stacking up against YouTube and Vine in the digital video space.

Video on Instagram was launched one year ago on June 20, 2013. Most industry analysts assume that more than 200 million Instagrammers are sharing Instavids just as avidly as they are sharing photos. But, it’s worth noting that the Instagram press page proudly proclaims that 20 billion photos have been shared, but it’s strangely quiet about the number of videos shared in the past year.

Now, there was a time when the only metric that mattered to a digital marketer was seeing the YouTube view count ticking up. But those days are long gone. Marketers are increasingly challenging the value of a view and they’re focusing instead on creating content and distribution strategies that drive deeper levels of engagement, such as sharing.

And, in the kingdom of content marketing, shares are the currency of social success and a must-have key performance indicator (KPI) for any authentically social campaign. For leading brand marketers, discovering how to create and distribute highly shareable content, repeatedly and at scale, is now at the top of the chief marketing officer’s (CMO’s) wish list.

Fortunately, there is also a way for digital marketers to get an apples-to-apples-to-apples comparison of the number of shares that YouTube, Vine, and Instagram videos have gotten over the past 24 hours, seven days, 30 days, 365 days, and all time: The Unruly Viral Video Chart. It ranks videos based on the amount of times the content has been shared on Facebook, Twitter, and in the blogosphere.

Unruly built and launched the Viral Video Chart in 2006. Ranking videos by number of shares rather than views, the chart quickly established itself as the definitive source for video sharing data around the globe. Will.I.Am has described Unruly’s Viral Video Chart as "the billboard hot 100 of the Internet generation."

The Unruly Viral Video Chart has tracked 430 billion video views since 2006 and tracks 24 million shares a day. It is the largest historical data set of video sharing behavior on the social Web. It tracks trending videos in real time using proprietary Unruly blog-scanning methodology, Facebook’s APIs, and the Twitter fire hose. Top brands use the unique data set to benchmark the social success of their own video campaigns and creative mavens and media partners use the data to spot video content trends.

pharrell-williams-happy-official-music-videoTo get a benchmark, digital marketers should look at the top 20 YouTube videos over the last 365 days. At the top of the chart is "Pharrell Williams - Happy (Official Music Video)" with close to 21.2 million shares in the last 365 days. If you tally up the shares that all of the top 20 videos have accumulated in the last 365 days, then you get almost 238.2 million.


this-is-what-it-looks-like-to-hit-a-big-league-curveballNext, look at the top 20 Vine videos over the last 365 days. The Unruly Vines Chart also ranks Vine videos based on the amount of times the content has been shared on Facebook, Twitter, and in the blogosphere. At the top of the chart is"This is what it looks like to hit a big league curveball ...off a pitching machine. #DbacksST," which has close to 1.8 million shares in the last 365 days. If you tally up the shares that all of the top 20 Vine videos have accumulated in the last 365 days, then you get more than 20.6 million.

Finally, look at the top 20 Instagram videos over the last 365 days. This chart also ranks Instagram videos based on the amount of times the content has been shared on Facebook, Twitter, and in the blogosphere. At the top of the chart is "justinbieber's video on Instagram," justinbieber-s-video-on-instagramwhich has more than 240,000 shares in last 365 days. If you tally up the shares that all of the top 20 Instagram videos have accumulated in the last 365 days, then you get more than 3.4 million.

If you then add up the shares of the top 20 videos from all three charts, then you get a total of 262.2 million shares. This means the top 20 YouTube videos got 90.8 percent to the total shares, Vine videos got 7.9 percent, and Instagram videos got 1.3 percent.

Four months ago, William Miller, a social media analyst at Socialbakers, wrote a post entitled, "How Instagram Killed Vine for Marketers."

Based on the data in the Unruly charts, the folks at Vine might want to respond to Miller by tweeting either Mark Twain’s famous quotation, "The report of my death was an exaggeration," or Winston Churchill’s insightful observation, "Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result."

And digital marketers who should remain focused on where they can get the most shares may want to re-read page 86 of The YouTube Creator Playbook for Brands, which says, "Remember:

  • 500 years of YouTube videos watched on Facebook/day.
  • 700 YouTube videos shared on Twitter/minute."

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Greg Jarboe

Greg Jarboe is president of SEO-PR, which provides search engine optimization, public relations, video marketing, and social media marketing services. He's the author of "YouTube and Video Marketing: An Hour a Day," a faculty member at Rutgers University and Market Motive, as well as a frequent speaker at SES conferences.

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