Vine is a new service, introduced by Twitter, that lets you record and share six-second (or less) looping video clips online. It’s a bit like Instagram, in that it works as a mobile app that captures and uploads your images to a website to share with the world, but it’s also a bit like Twitter in that it forces you to communicate more concisely.
Think of it this way, Vine is to YouTube what Twitter is to WordPress/Blogger; similar, but much more streamlined. The way Vine records videos is quite nice – it records while you’re touching the screen, pauses when you take your finger away, and stops when the six-second time limit is reached.
This makes it really easy to stitch together lots of different shots in a six-second clip, like this.
Once you’ve recorded your clip you can upload it to Vine, with options to share on Facebook and Twitter too. At present Vine is only available for iPhone/iPad but an Android version should be along soon.
Six second videos? What’s the point?
Good question. Who knows. It looks like a nice little toy for capturing and sharing brief moments in time, which is kind of how a lot of people use Twitter. With current technology, sharing larger video clips from a mobile device is cumbersome, but six-second clips are small enough to upload without destroying your monthly bandwidth allocation.
Also, people are probably going to be more willing to watch a clip if they know it’s limited to six seconds, just like a lot of people were happy to read your tweets when they wouldn’t waste time reading your blog posts.
But how much can you really say in six seconds? I dunno – but lots of people asked how much you can really say in 140 characters, and that worked out pretty well in the end. I suspect a lot of people are going to find creative ways to use Vine.
As with all new social media toys, in the end the community will decide what it’s for and whether it thrives.
Can we use it for PR?
The same answer applies to Vine as to all other social media: Yes, but only if you can think of something genuinely funny, interesting, informative and creative to use the platform for. Otherwise you’ll just end up looking a bit ridiculous.
Off the top of my head, a good use case might be to augment live Twitter-chat activities (or Reddit AMAs) with video responses from the interviewee, to add a little more authenticity and life to the responses.
So far, nobody’s come up with a killer six-second viral video, but it’s only a matter of time.
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This post originally appeared on the Text100 UK Blog.