A few weeks ago, Twitter launched its new stand-alone video sharing app, Vine. Originally created by New York-based start-up, Vine Labs, it was acquired by the social network last October while still in private beta.
Vine allows users to capture six seconds of looping video on their phone which is automatically edited and can be shared with friends across Twitter and Facebook; when the clip is tweeted will automatically be embedded within the tweet using the Twitter Card functionality.
The app is incredibly simple and easy to use which is sure to make it the must-have video sharing app for the iPhone. To record videos, users are required to hold their finger on the screen, when they lift it, the recording will be paused, making it possible to create multiple scenes; the app does all the editing, stitching the footage together automatically as a six-second video clip. Unlike traditional videos that can be created using apps like Viddy or Socialcam, the result often looks like an animated GIF, a format that’s been around since the early days of the web but has recently regained popularity.
Twitter CEO Dick Costello recently sat down with The Wall Street Journal, to discuss Twitter’s inevitable IPO, however he also shared his thoughts on the company’ recent acquisition and the launch of Vine.
He said that following Facebook’s purchase of Instagram, they weren’t looking to simply copy the rival social network, but instead go out and discover the “next big thing”.
After meeting the Vine team and receiving a demo of their product, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey contacted Costello, describing it to him as that very ‘thing’. Labelling it a “hyper-constrained publishing platform”, he told him that it will “force users to be creative in the way they tell a story, making it unique in comparison with other video services available today”.
At this early stage we have already witnessed some of the world’s biggest brands quickly adopt Vine to promote their products and services in a creative way, including Top Shop, O2, Schuh, Dove Soap and Ritz Crackers; news site Buzzfeed has been using the app to give followers a sneak peek inside their offices.
For brands using social media, Vine could well be a great addition to their content marketing arsenal, helping them to attract new customers by asking them to share relevant ‘vines’ to enter competitions and get involved in promotions. It also has real potential as a tool that could be used to build hype around new products, giving users a sneak before they are launched.
Below you will find a few examples of how some of the UK’s top brands are currently using Vine to engage their community in 6 seconds.
— schuh (@schuhshoes) February 19, 2013
— ASOS (@ASOS) January 30, 2013
— Cadbury UK (@CadburyUK) February 24, 2013
— Topshop (@Topshop) February 17, 2013
Aside from an initial hiccup immediately after launch, when sexually explicit content found its way onto the app forcing Apple to apply a 17+ status and its Facebook connect feature to be removed, Vine has been well received within the online community especially by brands particularly active in social media.
However, while the app is a novel way of capturing and editing six seconds of video, I believe there is still some way to go before it reaches the heights of its most obvious counterpart, Instagram. The ability to save your video and return to it later would be a nice addition while making use of the iPhone's front facing camera is a feature that I’m surprised hasn’t been included in the first release. Despite these points, overall, if you’re looking to capture quick videos on the move that you can share on social media, Vine is definitely the app for you.