Why Vine, Twitter's new video-sharing service, is the best six seconds of your life

Twitter’s new video-sharing service isn’t a fad; it’s a revolutionary new medium

Share
Related Topics

As Twitter launched their new 6-second video service Vine globally on Friday, early adopters were treated to the familiar sensation of having turned up to a party a little too early; those who are there now, though, are ecstatic.

Vines themselves are tiny looped snippets of video that remind you at once of a high-brow art installation and an animal gif emailed to you by a friend; less than a week in, the service is buzzing with puppies, fruit, and staged magic tricks using the app’s record-pause-record again system to turn children into princesses or make objects disappear and reappear at a click of the fingers.

Revolutionary

The culture of the gif looms large, but elsewhere, there are odd-looking stop motions, paced unusually because the stop isn’t actually stopped and is really a very short video clip, and short recipes of foods you would never be able to make in real life. Desperate to leverage the audience-building potential of a new service poised for hockey stick growth, many users are labelling their vines with all of a pre-specified set of hashtags that relate to categories hard-coded into the app (#magic, #nyc, #pets), so that new users browsing for the first time will see (and follow) their account.

Vine feels revolutionary. It’s the culmination of many trends that are now so established they’re not trends at all - mobile, video, mobile phone photography in the style of Instagram - and yet in its simplicity is more than the sum of its parts. Running through it are visual references to other now ubiquitous apps (Instagram, chiefly), but it nonetheless manages to feel like something new; in the invention of the ‘Vine’ it has its own version of the tweet, or the Like - a new medium of interaction as well as a platform to capture and deliver it.

In a conversation with the BBC college of journalism’s Marc Blank-Settle on Twitter last weekend (he’d noticed the focus was off on my first post) I said that Vine feels more like it will displace pictures than video, but that might be premature.  As Marc noted later, the focus issues were not just confined to my experience - and from a journalism perspective, without more editing tools or the ability to add links it's hard to see it gaining the usage among media organisations that Twitter has managed.

Perhaps by choice and perhaps because of the tech world's emergent “launch early and iterate often” philosophy, it’s also missing numerous features - Android, iPad, vertical filming and a web interface to name a few - that the average startup would be dragged through the mud by users and investors for neglecting.

Poised for greatness

It’s had its early hiccups too - yesterday, there was a degree of confected outrage over a pornographic clip featured accidentally as an “Editor’s Pick” (some savvy California comedian must surely have prepared, for his next Silicon Valley gig, the line “6 seconds? That’s my kind of porn”), and on its first day users reported some sketchy account-swapping possibilities around sharing that were quickly sorted out.

None of that is of any consequence; even just through it’s new position as Twitter’s de facto video-sharing function it would be around for good, but coupled with the form and its execution it feels like it’s a worthwhile medium and one poised for greatness. If you haven’t tried it already (and have access to an iPhone) give it a go now.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Research and Insight Analyst (Mathematics Graduate)

£25000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are cur...

IT Support Manager - Staffordshire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Support Manager - Near...

Nursery assistants required for day to day roles in Cambridge

£10000 - £15000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Nursery assistants re...

Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £30000 per annum + OTE £40 - £50K first year: SThree: SThree Group an...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

August catch-up: genius of Apple, fools and commercial enterprises, and the Queen

John Rentoul
Tory whips were anxiously ringing round the “usual suspects” following Douglas Carswell's defection to Ukip  

i Editor's Letter: Douglas Carswell's defection

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone