Mar 2013

Vine from Twitter is the new kid on the block. It is an iOS app to record and share videos in the social media space. It is like a mini social network in itself which allows users to create their profiles as well as follow other users. Since Facebook has Instagram, Google has YouTube, it was time for Twitter to acquire a cool new start-up as well.

Will Vine become the Instagram of the video world? Well, only time will show that! In the meanwhile, let’s talk more about Vine.

It’s just 6 Seconds: Yes, Vine allows you to record a video for a maximum of  6 seconds only, similar to Twitter’s 140 character limit for tweets. You can start and stop at any point as the app captures the video frame-by-frame. Since all videos have a length of 6 seconds, it challenges you to be innovative and create a good video within the given time span.

High Level version of .gif: We come across various .gif images that are funny, scary or intrigue. With Vine, you can create better quality .gif images just using your iPhone/iPad. I say this because, each clip created using Vine is only six-seconds-long and it automatically loops, so the final product looks more like an animated GIF.  You can find some cool examples of videos created using Vine on as well as here.

Simplicity and ease of use: Vine is a very simple mobile application which works with the press of a single button.  The recording starts when you touch the screen with your finger and stops when you release it. Vine is simply a combination of YouTube and Instagram minus the filters and complexities of both.

Scalability: Did you know that when Twitter started, there were no Hashtags or Retweets? It gradually was scaled up to the level it is right now.  Similarly, I think there is a huge scope for Vine to make the app more interesting and interactive.  Within just a few days of release, this app has created a lot of buzz around it. We can see mixed responses from people as well as discussions on how this app can be improvised.  A Vine user commented saying “Constrains make people think innovatively and this will not die just as a fad”. Some of the suggestions for the app are given below:

  1. Make an Android app: Currently its available only on iOS and to be able to reach out to a lot more people, an Android app is a must. Vine is currently looking for a Lead Android Engineer and this means that they do have plans to release an Android app soon.
  2. Front-facing Camera: Vine should support video shooting using the front camera. This is one of the most  popular requests in Vine’s  iTunes review section. The best you can do right now is to flip the camera back and forth while recording. Believe me this is going to be fun! 😛
  3. @Mentions: If Vine wants to play a larger role in the ‘social media’ space, it has to allow people to tag or mention people/brands names. Currently it fails to capture the attention or engage my friends.

While there are some improvements which Vine can make, adding too many new features will kill the simplicity of this app. It will be exciting to see what their team comes up with in the next couple of months 🙂

How can businesses leverage on Vine?

It is going to be interesting to see how brands leverage on this app in the coming months and I am expecting lots of action here. Already, some well know companies like  Mailchimp, GAP and Rolling Stone  have started using Vine to engage their customers.

Here are some other ways how business and brands can use Vine:

  1. Testimonials: Short videos are a great way to collect innovate testimonial from your customers. Something as simple as a smile from a customer of your brand is worth more than a hundred words.
  2. Demonstration of products: A lucid way to explain the features of your products is going to be the undisputed benefit of Vine. A real video or crisp stop- motion animation of how the product works and its benefits will be well comprehended by users. Chances of virality are higher, if the video has a short yet an interesting message.
  3. Events: Covering the events with short 6 second videos is going to be the new trend. Events will benefit a lot from Vine. I remember, for an event by a well-known local Indian brand, the social media executives were taking pictures every 5 minutes and uploading them onto their social media platforms to get the interest levels up. A short 6 second video is going to make a lot more difference. Even covering smaller portions of events or the event highlights as a short video can be useful content. Covering the show-stopper of the Fashion Week in 6 seconds, important lines of a keynote speech of an event, winning moments in a game and the possibilities are endless.
  4. Contests/Promotions: It will not be surprising to see brands using Vine in their contests and promotions. Instead of campaigns that ask customers to take photos, a short video adds more life to the contest and also makes the participants think out of the box! Businesses can also use Vine to tell people about the promotions at their store or explain rules of their contest.

Another interested use of Vine that I came across was in the Film Making field. The feature film It’s a Disaster, was released in a long series of 6-second Vine videos on the Vine account of Oscope Labs. Not every second of the film will be covered in this series, but it should still be interesting to watch. Recently, a comic was created out of Vine videos and some leading football clubs in EPL also started using Vine. Sounds exciting isn’t it ?  

Not a good start: Vine was in the news for a not so good reason. In the editor’s pick of a blog,  a porn clip made using Vine was used. There after Vine’s user age rating changed to 17+. The videos being user-generated and un- moderated content, there are many ways to bypass the explicit content norms of Vine. People also found some bugs in the app like, the most common issue is that the camera freezes for a while after pressing record and thus users lose those few seconds. For a 6 second video, losing a few seconds out is not something users will appreciate.

All said and done, Vine still looks like an app with a lot of potential. With people letting their creative juices flow, we will soon see many more interesting applications of Vine. The next few months are also going to be the busiest days for the Vine technical team to fix technical issues and bugs, in order to make their baby stand on its own and face the world! Good luck Vine! 🙂

Siljith Kandyil

is a Digital Marketing enthusiast, dabbling with tech ideas. He is currently the Operations Head of Happy Marketer and he also manages Happy Marketer’s Bangalore office. Siljith loves Che, Maradona and Steve Jobs in that order.