I have been working here at Red Rocket Media for a couple of months now and during this time Vine has been quietly and subtly hanging about at the edge of my periphery.
I had had a quick play and watched some of the fantastically creative virals that had started to pop up in my Twitter feed but, essentially, it was someone else’s toy.
Like many millions of people, I am not an Apple man. Actually, come to think of it, I don’t think I have ever owned an Apple product – not even an iPod has graced the internal pocket of my jacket. Now, don’t get me wrong here, I’m certainly not anti-Apple but I have always preferred the open-source community of Android devices.
Unfortunately Vine has been an iOS-only release since Twitter acquired it earlier in the year. We poor, suffering Android users just looked on as our iPhone wielding buddies talked amongst themselves about this brilliant “Twitter 6 seconds video” thing.
It sounded great but, as we inquired more, it quickly became apparent that we weren’t invited to the club – we were the kids peering over a garden fence at a neighbour’s new Super-Soaker toy before being called in for tea. “Oh you’re on Android? Sorry, it’s an Apple thing – you wouldn’t understand”.
Today, all that changes as Vine has finally been released for Android! Twitter lights up with excited tweets sent from Android devices….er…what is it?
How do you use Vine?
Let’s scroll back a bit before we get carried away with the inevitable hype that surrounds any new platform. Simply put, Vine allows users to record 6 seconds of video which plays on continuous loop.
Within the app, which accesses the camera feature of the device, you hold your finger on the screen when you want to capture something and release when you want to stop. Easy. One of the benefits of this is you are able to produce some very simple stop-motion style animation loops.
It reminds of when I was a child and my sister and I would make short Wallace & Gromit like animations with Plasticine sheep and a 1970’s Cine Camera. Now obviously, we can see instant results and share with the Vine community or Tweet about your lovingly-produced six seconds of fun.
Vine for marketers
Other than being a way to have a bit of a laugh with video, what are the marketing implications of this new and exciting platform?
Well, brands have already jumped on this with some pretty inventive and stylistic Vines. Essentially what Vine allows marketers and brands to do is create their own shareable content. If you follow the Red Rocket Media blogs you’ll understand how important we think this is and, understandably, we’re all a bit giddy about the prospect of displaying Vine to our clients.
Simon Jenkins touched on our excitement a couple of weeks back in his blog, “It’s a Vine, Vine life”, but now Vine has been released on Android operating systems it’s finally something everyone can experiment with.
Sara Haider, Android engineer at Vine explained: “Over the coming weeks, you’ll see frequent updates with new features –– including front-facing camera, search, mentions and hashtags, and the ability to share to Facebook –– as well as bug fixes and performance improvements. Of course, this is only the beginning –– we have exciting plans for features that could exist only on Android.”
Vine isn’t going to produce an Ingrid Bergman masterpiece of cinema but then Twitter was never going to challenge H.G. Wells or Shakespeare – it’s not what they are designed for. What they both allow for is a fresh, instant method of communicating ideas and, with Vine, the visual element is going to fire up a lot of imagination.