Twitter's Vine video sharing app has seen some big gains over the course of the last two months, proving conclusively that the service is anything but dead. Considering the kind of competition the service has in the field, that's saying something on several levels. But looking closer at the numbers suggests that the raw numbers alone may not be telling the whole story.
The numbers alone make for an impressive picture. Just two months ago, Vine stood at 13 million users. Now, the number has reached 40 million, and this only after two months. That's triple the original total, and certainly noteworthy by any stretch. The biggest motivator behind this seems to be that, in June, Vine was strictly an iOS operation. But subsequently, Vine rolled out an Android version, and the numbers shot up.
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But where things get interesting is that that 40 million is an aggregate number, not the number of active users. Most apps use active users as the primary gauge of popularity, but Vine doesn't seem to be talking about active users. Of course, it's worth noting that this big jump only happened recently, and one of Vine's key competitors, Instagram Video, also took its time in bringing out the active count instead of the total user count. This may be what's happening in Vine's case, and if so, many of the issues here will be self-resolving.
Indeed, based on the current numbers, things look good for Vine. It reached the top of the heap for non-game apps on iOS, while Instagram came in at number five on the same list, according to the App Annie index. But these numbers are prone to change; Instagram added video at the end of June, and by some reports, Instagram's video component could mean bad things for Vine, especially given that Instagram has 130 million active users a month.
What many are waiting on are the numbers from July. When said numbers emerge, there may well be some shakeup in the overall listings, and may well prove just what we're seeing so far. It could be that there's a major Android effect to be considered here—given the depth of the Android platform and how many users it carries, that's not out of line—but it may be that Vine is just holding back the numbers that show Instagram is actually winning the fight here.
Only time—and the updated numbers—are really going to tell what we're seeing here, but the sheer number of possibilities make this one to consider. Are we about to see a new king in shared video? Or are we about to see the balance of power shift once more?
Edited by Alisen Downey