Jim Long - Digital Media and Culture
Vine Ripened – Twitter’s New Six Second Video App

Vine Ripened – Twitter’s New Six Second Video App

Twitter’s video storytelling tool Vine has launched with the fanfare and blog discussion typical of the content marketing crowd. Heralded as “Simple, Stupid and Brilliant” by Ann Handley of MarketingProfs, the Twitter Vine app appears to be getting largely positive buzz.  The arrival of corporate brands on Vine puts a stamp of approval on the service, validating it to some degree as a “must-have” platform in the content marketers toolkit and for personal content sharing.

Is The Twitter Vine App Right For Your Brand?

But just because brands CAN use the quick and simple video sharing app doesn’t mean they should – at least not without thinking about how best to use the six-second medium. At least this this post by Geoffrey Colon of Ogilvy suggests a measured approach saying that brands should “test” Vine.  My first Vine was a series of shots of my setup for a two-camera broadcast interview.  By Vine #3, I was asking this:


Some have called it a “richer” visual experience than a photograph.  I’m not sure a short series of moving images provides a richer experience than a more compelling still photograph. There are some very creative examples in the editors picks, but there seems to be an endless supply of random, shaky, ephemeral ones on Vine as well.   One need look no further than VinePeek to see some of the less inspired posts.  It helps to sift through some of Vine’s preselected topics.

What’s Old is New Again


In many ways, Vine is a new and easy way to use old motion picture techniques, such as stop motion animation, line animation and editing, more precisely in-camera editing – all techniques that have been utilized by film and video makers for decades.  And with every new medium in the internet age, there are those who help shape and define it.

With blogging it was people like Robert Scoble, with videoblogging ZeFrank comes to mind.  Now with Vine, I predict @whoismaxwell will become a household name.  His humor is NSFW – likely offensive to some, disturbing and offbeat, in fact he described it to me as “idiotic”.  Perhaps that’s an apt description, but he appears to have mastered the six second medium.

Planning on Adding Vine to Your Content Mix?

My advice to anyone thinking about using Vine as a content marketing tool is simple.  Think carefully about how you’re going to craft your visual story.  There is a surprising amount of impact you can pack into six seconds.  But just because the videos are short doesn’t mean they don’t have to be well planned and executed.  You don’t want your content to wither on the Vine.

In its nascent years, no one thought Twitter could produce anything of value or meaning on a platform that constrained you to 140 characters.  It took time for people to really figure out how best to use it. Maybe that will be the case with Vine.  Perhaps we’ll look to the most creative users will find its best uses.  Until then, I’ll continue to tinker with it and try figure it out.  What about you? Do you see Vine as a valuable visual storytelling tool?

Further Reading

4+ Ways to Engage with Twitter’s Vine Videos

7 creative examples of how TV brands are using Vine

Do brands need to care about Vine?

Vine: How can brands get social engagement in six seconds?


  • Libby Spencer

    From viewer/consumer POV, not getting the point of vine. From here it looks like just a DIY longer form GIF. And 90% of what I’ve seen has been pretty awful so far.

    • newmediajim

      It does have a transient “shiny” feel about it Libby, but again, that’s what people said about Twitter. Still, video has a grammar to it and telling a story within six seconds is tough.

      • Libby Spencer

        I’m already prejudiced because I don’t like GIFs generally. I much prefer a really well framed still. On the other hand, I do really like well produced short videos. And I realize it takes a while for these things to mature. But at the moment I’m finding the six second format more annoying than informative, amusing or artistic mainly because there’s so many bad ones. I click on very few at this point. Then again, I’m not a sought after demo in the target market so go ahead you kids, play on my lawn.

  • http://www.dogwalkblog.com/ Rufus Dogg

    The “killer app” of vine is also a tool of old media – EDITORS!! The app pushes an editor pick every day, which can then push the content exponentially fast along the conversation trajectory.

    TV, newsprint is like this. Your story — even if it blows up the twitter — does not exist until someone mentions it on tv or writes it in the newspaper. A 15 second segment on CNN or MSNBC will do more to propel a story into the conversation more than a million retweets even if the story starts on twitter. Really. No, really.

    Which is why Vine needs to be in tight control of the content it picks and promotes. There will be a million cat :06 second shorts and just as many dogs licking themselves, but there will be pathetically few compelling stories. Compose your story well. It could be the :06 that could change the world.

  • http://www.ann-sense.com/ Ann Marie van den Hurk, APR

    To answer your question in 6 seconds. :) http://youtu.be/yOFAk9HicHU

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