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Are We Missing the Point With the Snapchat vs Vine Comparison

Ed note: this post was written prior to the recent news of Snapchat’s series F funding.

Recently Vine, the once-hailed short-form video app owned by Twitter, has taken a beating in the media, including unfavorable comparisons to the new darling of the masses, Snapchat. While our data, based on the 7Park Data App Intelligence panel of millions of mobile users, shows Snapchat’s user engagement growing and Vine’s declining simultaneously, we find the comparison to be unfair in the first place. Here’s why.

Snapchat has been rapidly expanding its reach beyond teenage population, attracting millennials and brands. The app’s every new feature (think emojis, filters, face-swap) becomes a sensation or, for many, an obsession. With its massive growth and ad money flowing, Snapchat is on a fast track to becoming a giant in the app world.

According 7Park Data’s Lead Internet Analyst Byrne Hobart, there’s another factor that puts Vine at disadvantage with Snapchat.

“The shorter a given piece of content is, the faster the viral cycle will be. That’s good for growth: you only have to watch a Vine video for six seconds to decide to share it. But it’s bad if you have a hiccup in content creation; users quickly churn out,” says Byrne. “This is less of a problem for Snapchat, since so much of its content is shared among friends. The more an app focuses on non-user-generated content, the more they are at risk from changing fashions.”

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Vine’s six-second video sharing format may be one of the reasons why users don’t spend much time in the app. By the end of April 2016, Vine’s users were spending 19 minutes in app a week, compared to Snapchat’s 78 minutes per user. Going forward, it may be more appropriate to compare Snapchat with Twitter’s other video app — Periscope, which allows for longer real-time video streaming and has seen growth in time spent.

The analysis in this post is powered by 7Park Data App Intelligence Dashboard. Businesses around the world use 7Park Data to gain insight into consumer behavior.

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