One of the most significant developments in social media this year has been Twitter Vine. It is a video sharing service provided by Twitter, but videos can only be a maximum of six seconds long, and they are displayed as a loop, like a gif file.
The first couple of weeks of Vine’s life have not been without controversy though. Almost inevitably, adult content started getting recorded onto Vine, and an adult video got mistakenly selected as Editor’s choice by Twitter – its first major fail. This has led to something that Vine was looking to avoid – earlier this week, the Apple App Store (the only place where you can get the Vine app) has given it a 17+ rating.
So, has Vine stumbled too much too young to be a success or are these simply teething problems? Here are the cases for and against….
The future is Vine?
Developers like it – in a very short space of time, there have been some great tools developed to view Vine videos, such as Vinepeek (the world’s most addictive website according to BuzzFeed). Love from developers doesn’t guarantee success, but can indicate a perceived public appetite for Vine.
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Video is popular – anyone who has seen recent stats from YouTube will know how popular video is, and video is widely regarded as the most engaging marketing medium – a good thing for Twitter to be involved in.
It fits with Twitter’s ethos – One of the benefits of Twitter over Facebook and Google+ is that it is quick-fire – the longest messages are only 140 characters, and limiting the videos to a 6 second loop fits well with Twitter’s USP.
The end of the Vine is nigh?
Adult material – Twitter must have seen this issue coming when they were developing Vine months ago, and I would guess that they see it as a necessary downside to Vine. The reality is that if someone wants to see this type of material, a quick search on Twitter or the web will get them to where they want to go. The 17+ rating in the app store is bad news, but the warnings are easily clicked through, so don’t think this will be a huge issue ongoing: see Tumblr as a precedent.
Facebook doesn’t like it – Facebook has not allowed Vine to integrate, which may not sound like a big deal, but support from a network with 1bn active members would be beneficial. Does this mean that Facebook are developing their version of a mini-video sharing platform?
Adoption is pretty slow – not too many brands have leapt on the Vine bandwagon, and I think that’s because Vine seemed to arrive out of the blue! However, early adopting brands, such as Manchester City FC, have seen some success. Are Marketing Directors trying to get their key messages into a 6 second video? I think so…
It seems to me that Vine was launched a little quickly. It has been criticised for being a little buggy, and is not even available on Android, the world’s number one mobile platform – its an iPhone and iPod Touch only app. But the growth of video and the fact that they are only short videos mean that they are a very quick and easy way to be entertained.
In terms of commercial use, brands will soon work out ways of communicating their messages succinctly, and will see it as an opportunity to go viral (although I hate that phrase!!).
So, I think Vine is here to stay for personal and business users.
What do you think?