Early Vine Use Sees Video App Rising On iOS While Cinemagram, Viddy, Socialcam All Decline


Call it a fad, call it the Twitter effect, or call it another example of when it pays not to be the first mover, but it looks like two months out of the gate, Twitter’s short-form video-sharing app Vine is picking up users like they’re going out of style.

According to figures from Onavo Insights, which tracks usage of apps across iOS devices in the U.S., since going live in January, Vine has grown its monthly active users by 50% in the last month, and it was used on 2.66% of all iOS devices in the U.S. by the end of February.

It doesn’t look like Vine’s rising tide is lifting all boats. Three other video-sharing apps on iOS — Cinemagram, SocialCam and Viddy — have at the same time declined, with their monthly active users in general down since December. February saw U.S. device usage of 1.07% for Cinemagram, 0.50% for SocialCam and 0.31% for Viddy.

These numbers are somewhat comparable with those of another analytics company, RJ Metrics, which measured Vine use compared to Viddy and Socialcam on Twitter itself. It found that in its first month, Vine was used by 2.8% of Twitter’s highly active users with Viddy used by 0.5% and Socialcam by 0.2%.

It also follows the pattern established early on in its life.

While Onavo doesn’t have comparative stats for how well those three apps did in their first couple of months of usage (it wasn’t tracking this data back then), it notes that in fact Vine is bigger now than any one of them has been in the last six months. Viddy and SocialCam have both been in a general decline, while Cinemagram saw a decent boost in the autumn of last year, only to also begin declining in December.

Vine’s rise is interesting in the context of another social network’s launch of a picture-based app. Facebook’s debut of Poke, the ephemeral picture messaging app that was seen as Facebook’s answer to Snapchat, got a lot of attention when it first arrived, but that appeared to quickly disappear when it came to picking up active users. As Poke interest has died down, Snapchat has continued to grow. Today, they stand at 12% for Snapchat and 0.25% for Facebook’s Poke.

One possible message here is that you may have a better chance of succeeding if you’re entering a market that is not yet owned by any one company, regardless of whether you are launching off the back of a wildly popular social media platform or not. Vine was entering a space where its closest competitor was being used by only 1.3% of iPhone owners and falling. Snapchat, by comparison, was being used by 10% and rising when Poke decided to Poke it. In general, video on mobile is still a wide-open space, with video apps used only by about 4% of highly active users on Twitter, according to RJMetrics.

It’s telling that when Twitter launched photo filters, it chose to do them in Twitter itself rather than as a separate service. On the competitive landscape, Instagram, Onavo tells me, is used by 32.3% of iPhone owners in the U.S. on a monthly basis.

Coming up, it will be interesting to see how this plays out with usage, and rollout, of a reported launch of a Twitter music app up ahead. The most used music app on iOS in the U.S., Onavo says, is Pandora at 31.8% of U.S. users accessing it monthly, with Spotify at 7.14%.