Worth 1,000 Words


071913_patti_neumann_smHave you heard of Instagram? It is a photo-sharing site that now boasts more than 100 million users. Facebook recently bought it for $1 billion.

Instagram touts itself as the app that helps you “capture and share the world’s moments.” And that’s not so far off; Instagram is an easy, fast
and fun way to share your real-time happenings with friends and family.

I got on Instagram recently (Instagram.com/CITYPEEKpatti) because I was intrigued by how the younger generation was using it. People in bars, restaurants, would be taking photos, enhancing the light, turning color shots into blackand white and even framing them. Then, the pictures would be posted on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and other social sharing sites.

That takes me to why I like Instagram. It helps with time management by enabling people to instantly share photos across multiple social platforms.

Recently, after sitting in on a panel at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, I started playing around with Vine, a new app for sharing short, looping videos of only six seconds. Vine is owned by Twitter and enables its users to create and post video clips. But with a maximum length of six seconds, although it is easy to use, it is very hard to capture much in such a short period of time. (Here is one of my best tries: https://vine.co/v/

So Instagram went a step further and just unveiled a video-making tool of its own, integrating it with its photo app. The biggest difference is who owns it — Facebook. But videos are also longer — 15 seconds. (It’s a sign of the times when a 15-second timeframe is all our
attention spans can take.)

The Instagram tool allows you to take a video, choose a special filter to transform its look and feel, and then post it to Instagram — and Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, email, Foursquare (and many others) simultaneously. (Check this one out: http://instagram.com/p/bEmSJvq4gS/.)

Both video tools allow you to save your files to your smartphone. Whereas Vine loops the video, allowing it to repeat until you stop, Instagram Video does not. Vine also allows you to easily embed your videos on your blog or website.

Neither Vine nor Instagram will let you pull video from your camera roll; you have to shoot it on the app.

Do you want to try it?

Whichever you choose, social media surveys show that videos have an 80 percent greater open rate that plain photos or no image at all.

Be creative! Try it out. And, please share your videos with me.

Patti Neumann is the Baltimore-based founder/chief social thinker of the award-winning online food and wine guide CITYPEEK.com and CITYPEEK Social Media Strategies. To connect: Facebook/CITYPEEKpatti; Twitter @CITYPEEKpatti; or contact [email protected].

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