Twitter’s new Vine App, released on January 24th, has quickly become one of the most talked topics in social media. While it is tied to Twitter, Vine is an entirely new social media platform in its own right. Vine allows users to record six seconds of video which is then posted to an Instagram-style feed. Vine has certainly gotten people excited, but should you jump on board? Let’s take a closer look.
Vine works with the camera on your device and is very user-friendly; given some direction, a cat could probably record its own videos. The home feed is elegant and simple to navigate for anyone who has used Twitter or Instagram before. Users can follow friends, celebrities, or brands, and can import their contacts from Twitter and their phone, making it easy to get started finding content. Videos can be liked, commented on and shared just like on other platforms. Overall, Vine is well-designed and extremely easy to use, and while it is only available for the iPhone and iPad right now, it will likely be expanding to other platforms in the future.
However, Vine is the new dog on the block. The existing social media giants are also user friendly, and they already have a developed user base. Vine faces tough competition if it wants to become a major player in the social media market. Its two major competitors are:
Instagram. Instagram became famous for its preset photo filters, which can make any picture look good, but has quickly grown into a photo-sharing platform.
Keek. This Canadian start-up gained 6 million new users in just 30 days. It’s a video sharing platform just line Vine, but it allows users 36 seconds of airtime rather than just six.
But what Instagram and Keek lack, and what Vine provides, is the potential for creative thought. Instagram is notorious for being filled with pictures of manicures or someone’s dessert, lending itself to a younger crowd looking to find out all that they possibly can about their friends. Keek, in its short time, has attracted 36 second videos of teenagers talking about how much they hate school. Vine, however, offers a limited amount of time, and therefore requires that users not only get right to the point of their message, but that they do so in a creative manner. While Instagram and Keek are certainly not going away anytime soon, Vine offers something different.
The challenge for brands looking to use Vine to promote themselves is learning to work in what has been called a “new visual language”. While businesses have gotten comfortable with updating their status and even posting photos and video, creating something really eye-catching with Vine requires a certain degree of cinematographic sensibility. Some of the best Vine posts so far have relied on using stop-motion capture techniques to create a story, like a quick overview of a recipe or a funny, cartoonish short. While this may sound complex, it’s nothing that can’t be learned, and interacting with users in this way creates a great sense of personality for the brand. While Vine is still in its early days, it is looking like it will be here for the long run.
If you haven’t downloaded the app yet, you can check out some Vine videos in this article from Salon.