Yet another social media site has taken the web by storm. Vine, Twitter’s newest micro-video sharing platform, allows users to share 6 second looping videos, comprised of smaller video clips. Videos can then be shared via Twitter, Facebook, or your Vine account (where users are encouraged to follow others, much like Twitter). While there are other mini-movie platforms out there, Vine has been able to generate a lot of buzz in the two short weeks it’s been available. As of right now, Vine is only available on Apple devices, but rumors of an Android version coming to market soon are swirling.
We downloaded Vine and started exploring. To be honest, we didn’t really know how much one could do with only 6 seconds to work with. Turns out, you can do a lot.
The interface is actually quite slick. It’s easy enough to connect your Twitter account or sign up via email. As of right now, Vine doesn’t support switching between multiple Twitter accounts. This could be a bummer for users that manage a personal account and a business account.
Once your Vine account is set up, you are led through the process of creating and posting your first Vine. Creating a looping video made out of multiple smaller clips (if desired, you can just record 6 straight seconds of video without taking advantage of the ability to splice together smaller clips) and have the result look half-way decent might be difficult to get the hang of at first. It was for us. But after a little practice, we felt like a couple of Spielbergs and shared our first Vine on Twitter and Facebook.
Here’s some shots of the process involved in creating a Vine:
One of the features I like most about Vine is how easy they made the process of capturing video. Rather than requiring users to press a small button to start recording (like the native iPhone camera), you can press any part of the screen between the two gray bars. This makes capturing video on the move a lot easier. The rounded rectangular bar at the top lets you know how much time you have left out of your allotted 6 seconds. You start recording by pressing and holding your finger on the screen and stop recording by lifting your finger.
I held down my finger for a couple seconds and then lifted. The result was a short video clip of my bonsai tree…which is looking a bit sad at the moment. He’s got the winter blues. The partially filled-in bar at the top shows my progress.
Press your finger a bit longer and it takes another clip. The clips can be as short as it takes you to press down your finger and remove it. I tried to see how many clips I could create (by pressing down and releasing as quickly as possible) and I managed to make a video comprised of 76 smaller clips. With capability like this, people could get very creative and use Vine for stop animation or to create miniature flip books. Very cool.
The green checkmark at the bottom-right signifies that you have taken enough video to allow for an upload. It seems to pop up after you have about 2 seconds-worth of footage. I like that they allow you to upload clips shorter than the full 6 seconds. The flexibility is nice.
When you are happy with your Vine, you click the checkmark and the “Next” button pops up. At this point, the screen above the button shows the looping video you have created. This allows you to decide whether or not you are happy with your Vine. If not, you can press the “X” in the top-right corner and start over.
Clicking “Next” adds the Vine to your camera roll and takes you to the page, shown above. This is where you can add your caption, which supports hashtags and @-sign mentions. There doesn’t seem to be a character limit (at least it’s not 140 characters), but keeping the description of your masterpiece short and sweet is advisable if you plan on sharing your Vine on Twitter. You can also choose to share it on Vine’s native social site or Facebook.
As bonsai trees are not particularly interesting to many people other than myself, below you can check out the first Vine SUM shared with the world.
So far, we’ve had a lot of fun playing with Vine and we definitely see the opportunity for businesses. Much like the business world’s adoption of Instagram, an app like this allows companies to show a little more of their personalities. The applications of Vine are endless and users are only bound by 6 seconds and their own creativity. All of that being said, there are a few bugs and missing features that should be addressed in version 2.0. Mashable put together a great list of desirable features and we couldn’t agree more.
Because Vine is so new, it’s a bit of a jungle out there. Besides people using the site for lascivious activities, it doesn’t have a firm identity, nor is there a clear understanding of what or how you should post. But where there’s uncertainty, there’s almost always opportunity. So download the app and give it a shot. Let your creativity run wild and I bet you’ll have more fun than you think.