Recently, the first REALLY big news of the social media world hit. Rather than a brand new platform or a catchy new phrase like content marketing, this big news is something different – an app. Released by Twitter, the app is called Vine, and it is attracting a lot of interest from the marketing world as well as the social media world specifically.

In a nutshell, Vine allows you to record a 6-second video that then can be shared with ease to your Twitter account (interestingly, Facebook has blocked access to Vine based on problems regarding account access). This article from PC Magazine does an excellent job of summarizing the app and how to download it. The app is available for Apple devices only right now, but it is free for download.

As you might suspect, there is a lot of excitement about the idea that videos can be added seamlessly to the Twitter stream. The idea of using a six-second video to present information about a product or about your company is tantalizing for people who have been preaching about the power of video and the importance of storytelling. Social Media guru and New York Times best seller Chris Brogan even went so far as to suggest how businesses can effectively use the app.

Not all of the feedback is 100% positive, however. As this article from Advertising Age points out, there’s no way to tell how long Vine will be able to entangle people in excitement, and there were some significant problems with the app in the first couple days of its usage (including accounts somehow getting each others’ feeds).

Our concerns are a little more specific to marketing itself. The videos that we’ve seen so far really seem more like the flashing online ads that so many people cry out against. Here are a few examples so you can see what we mean:

Redvines Licorice has jumped onto Vine (maybe because of the similar names. In this video they put licorice hair on a picture of Whoopi Goldberg.

David Meerman Scott, a well-known author in the social media space, created this video to showcase his book cover as translated into 26 languages

Finally, this video from an animal shelter shows pictures of dogs up for adoption

We think the last example is the most innovative of the above choices. Even in that case, however, these videos can becomea little dizzying to look at. They loop endlessly, and right now most people using Vine are using it just to play with it. Because Vine is an app on smart devices, the videos tend to be shaky and not highly refined.

More to the point, a company using Vine is pretty clearly promoting itself as it would via an advertisement. If you have been building your social media marketing strategy around nurturing relationships in order to earn the sale, these in your face, kind of annoying ads may have the effect of suddenly starting to yell at everyone with whom you’ve carefully been connecting.

We’re not hanging up, just waiting

It’s possible that Vine could become useful as part of a fully integrated marketing campaign, but simply jumping into it and tweeting out videos from a business account is something we cannot support. Simply doing things to do them, or because they’re new, has never been something we advise companies to take part in. We will be monitoring Vine over the next few months to see if it evolves, to see if it retains interest, and to see if companies begin to use it in a less gimmicky, more business-oriented manner. We’ll stand by while the excitement phase runs full throttle, however.

Where do you stand on Vine?

Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/drewr/8413235582 via Creative Commons