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Online video is a growing part of social media

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Kristin Meeks is the owner of WV Social Media located in Parkersburg, which specializes in marketing coaching, trainings and consulting. Connect with Kristin and WV Social Media on Facebook at facebook.com/marketingwv, on Twitter @marketingwv or by email at Kristin@wvsocialmedia.com. 

In 2012, when we thought of online videos we automatically thought, "YouTube!" YouTube, founded in 2005, used to be the ruling social media when it came to all online video content. The saying, "Go ‘YouTube' it," is almost as popular a saying as "Just ‘Google' it." 

YouTube may still be the second-largest search engine behind Google, but as 2013 rounded the corner, the world of online videos exploded. Micro-videos, short video clips, were introduced and appealed to our need for fast-flowing information.

Twitter started the trend into the micro-video world when it launched Vine in its own stand-alone app in January 2013. 

Vine, as described on Twitter's blog when it was first introduced, is a complete mobile service that lets you share short, looping videos with motion and sound included in a six-second video that inspires creativity. Vine has drawn a viral following from the likes of both companies and individuals.

Instagram, though around since 2010 as an online photo-sharing social networking service, emerged in the video scene in June 2013. Instagram differentiated itself from Vine by offering options. Users can record a micro-video from one to 15 seconds without the loop function, can easily edit clips, have the options of 15 filters, and above all that, it has a video stabilization tool called cinema. Instagram has been updating the app, frequently adding updates to both the still photo and video sides of the company. 

Where you decide to land in this new, easy-to-shoot video world may be based solely on where you plan on using these tools. YouTube, being around the longest, is the most versatile because you can embed the video. Vine gives you the least flexibility, since it is only able to be shared on Twitter and Facebook (and as a tweet on blogs), and Instagram falls somewhere in between the two. 

As each of these sites continues to improve its functions, we could see even a bigger growth in 2013 and we may be able to declare 2014 the year of the video!