Trends In Viral Video: How History Impacts Modern Marketing

When it comes to new content formats, the tech often shapes the trend — and this has certainly been the case for short, bite-sized videos. Both Vine (RIP) and Instagram Stories have challenged users with strict time limits, leading to all sorts of new kinds of narratives. As we’ve seen time and time again, constraints often lead to some of the most creative outputs, so it’s not surprising that people have come up with some pretty wild ideas for this new medium.

Humor still dominated the most popular short-form videos, but suddenly, the gratification was instant and more importantly, mobile. Vine’s built-in editing tools allowed users to piece together several clips into a six-second loop, no production skills necessary. Story arcs sprung out of lightning-fast cuts, sped-up action, and punchy dialogue. It caused creators to narrow their focus.

And if Vine gave us the idea to get to the point quicker, Instagram made bite-sized video a part of most people’s daily lives. Instagram Stories (and its predecessor, Snapchat Daily Stories) lets users share 15-second snippets of experiences in real time, and then collate those clips into a chronological timeline that disappears in 24 hours. Everyone from full-blown celebrities to big-name brands use stories to pull back the curtain on everyday life.

“And if Vine gave us the idea to get to the point quicker, Instagram made bite-sized video a part of most people’s daily lives.”

These videos are so effective because of their raw, personal quality. Sure, professional videographers have joined in on the fun, making slick branded content and ads, but the power of Stories is really in the access it provides to viewers. Anyone can update their Story at any moment, and people can find it and respond instantaneously.

And just because you’re a business that sells, say, note-taking software, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the fun! Check out how Evernote uses Instagram Stories to highlight templates, tips, blog posts, and more.


Short videos — and the platforms that celebrate them — no doubt have a future in a mobile-first world. With short videos, you have to get to the point quickly, which is a good rule of thumb for anyone hoping to win people over with video.

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Trends in Viral Video: How History Impacts Modern Marketing
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