You may have heard about it, you may have even seen one, but what exactly is Vine? Vine is a mobile app that allows users to easily upload and edit six-second video clips that can be shared with people all around the world. For casual users Vine is an easy-to-use app that makes real time editing simple and accessible. For more serious media creators, Vine is becoming an exciting new platform to share original content.
Released in January of 2013, Vine has rapidly become a popular app. The ability to upload six-second video clips to Twitter has boosted Vine’s profile and made it an outlet for media creators. Vine’s format resembles Twitter; it is a simple, short-form way for people to instantly publish and share ideas with the potential for a massive online following.
Paul Gude is a Seattle resident and Content Editor at ICanHasCheezburger.com, and has hosted episodes of the FAIL Blog Clip Show on their sister site. Paul is an avid Twitter user, and an early Vine adopter. “The whole process took about five minutes”, says Paul of learning to use the application.
Paul compares Vine to earlier innovations in media such as the disposable camera, “One can think of Vine as a disposable camera, or tape recorder. Those devices were built to be easy to use. Families used them to document memories, but artists would take them and push them past their normal boundaries.”
Many artists have recognized Vine’s potential for reaching their audience. Daft Punk announced the track list for their upcoming album through Vine, while others have debuted snippets of songs or recordings of their interactions with fans.
Vine has also shown its versatility as a format for breaking news. When the tragic bombings at the Boston Marathon took place this April, a defining image of the explosions went viral through Vine. The Media called it Vine’s “Tahrir Square moment”, in reference to the social media coverage of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution.
Vine’s combination of simplicity, mobility and functionality has already spawned imitators. Facebook launched a similar app this June that allows video uploads to Instagram. Vine posts have already outpaced Instagram in recent days, according to Topsy Analytics.
Paul predicts that many will try to duplicate Vine’s success. “I’m sure there will be more imitators. It seems like more folks will try to compete with a working model by making an almost exact duplicate. As long as Vine walks that line between simplicity and innovation, it’ll stick around.”
Some have questioned if six seconds is truly enough time to deliver a message of any importance. But as Paul notes, “I think we can all think of a loved one with whom we’d love to have another six seconds to say one last thing. Imagine how important that phrase would be? Although, to be fair, you can also tell a dumb joke in six seconds. Not everything is important.”
Vine is available for free for iPhone and Android users. Want to learn more about the application? Seenive.com is a website that aggregates popular Vines, allowing viewers to easily track and follow their favorite posters, including Paul Gude’s.