What is Vine?
Twitter recently announced a new video app service: Vine (acquired in October last year). Like Twitter, it’s all about brevity, enabling you to create and share a looping video – with or without sound – provided it’s between three and six seconds long.
As with every new social media service, marketers have and will continue to flock to it, conscious of the need to appear ‘with it’ and to see if it could be of use to clients. As with any service that allows you to create and share content, there is a big opportunity for brands to use it, almost entirely dependent upon the audience it attracts.
The Vine app is only available on iOS at present, but an Android version can’t be too far away.
Quite a few brands have already had a go at creating Vines. The Vines themselves are pretty pointless and been ignored by Twitter users on the whole (few examples below, where you can see how few retweets/favourites they’ve received), but have given the companies behind them a bit of coverage as early users. We can expect Vines to become slicker once the ‘quick, let’s just post anything branded’ period passes.
Although Vine has been created with your average Joe in mind, businesses and marketers will be the primary adopters – alongside amateur pornographers, it seems.
Vinepeek.com is an unmoderated site that shows visitors newly-posted Vines in real-time, meaning it can get quite mucky, but does show that there are a large number of people creating and posting them.
Vine is really simple to use. Once downloaded, you can pair it with your Twitter account/s, after which you can see the homepage – a feed of recent Vines from other users and also be taken through a quick tutorial.
Videos are created by holding your finger on the screen, allowing you to either record an one thing for six seconds, or create one six second long video of multiple angles or shots.
Creating Vines should, in theory, be quick. However, I filmed and shared one earlier and due to the app being a bit buggy, had to record the three-part video a few times before finally being able to publish.
Once you are ready to publish, your looped video will play, giving you the chance to share to Twitter, Facebook and by default, Vine. Vine is, like Instagram, a social network in its own right, giving you the chance to follow others to keep up to date with their recordings and be followed.
Here’s the one I put together earlier of a (costumed) Yeti at work, all 10 Yetis branded, of course:
To be honest, the reaction to our quick and silly Vine was pretty muted despite a fairly decent-sized audience of PR and marketing types, not dissimilar to the way the brand examples above were received.
Vine could be useful and I do think a marketing message can be delivered in six seconds, but brands really have to put some thought into it. This from Urban Outfitters is an example of an inane (frankly odd) Vine, ‘celebrating Beer Can Appreciation Day’.
Plenty of brands post LOLcats and other ridiculous content on Facebook and Twitter (see the fantastic Condescending Corporate Brand Page), so it’ll never disappear, but I look forward to a smarter approach.