This past weekend, I spent some time in Santa Barbara with friends. We tasted wine, enjoyed good food, and—as we young people are wont to do—used social media to our hearts’ content. Friends who weren’t even there could at least enjoy the experience peripherally through our many tweets, Instagram photos, and Vine videos.

I have an Android device, so I haven’t had much first-hand experience with the app prior to this weekend. I wasn’t completely wowed with what I’d seen when Vine launched, but I wasn’t unimpressed either. Seeing the app in action this weekend completely won me over.

What is Vine?

For those not in the know, Vine is a new-ish mobile app owned by Twitter that allows users to record and post 6-second video clips to their Twitter and Facebook feeds. Clips loop, making them akin to those animated GIFs we so love. It debuted on January 24. In the month since its launch, the app has seen some steady growth.

Six seconds seems a bit short and arbitrary at first, but that’s what people said about 140 characters. Really, that brevity is what forces creativity in the videos. If you think about it, your average 90-minute movie has about 5,000 cuts, which—if my math is right—averages to about a second of an image at a time before the camera cuts away. Six seconds is more than enough time to show something off without boring anyone’s socks off.

What’s It For?

Honestly, anything. Over the weekend, my friends used Vine to make short films, record some hazy moments, and even try some stop-motion. The shareability of Vines is what really makes it shine as a tool for content marketers. It’s visual, it’s short, and it leaves people asking for more. Brands are already finding some great, creative ways to use Vine to market themselves and their products.

The folks at Simply Measured have a free statistics report tool that lets you see how many people have seen your Vines, how your Vine clips stand up to Instagram, Youtube, and other pieces of visual content on your Twitter, and a ton of other analytic data, so you can keep track of who’s engaging with your Vine vids.

Misuse and Problems

Just like Twitter and Facebook, Vine is apt to some misuse, and I’m not talking about the porn thing either. Errors and misuse happen and will make themselves known as Vine digs its roots deeper into the content marketing dirt.

Jay Baer over at Convince and Convert noted the two most common misuses of Vine. For one, Vine, like any other piece of content, yearns for a narrative. You don’t need a complex, Bergman-esque story, but your Vines should have a discernible beginning, middle, and end.

For two, don’t mistake Vine for Instagram with motion. If all you’re doing is recording a building or your desk without any cuts to different scenes, you’re giving people a six-second image. Make things interesting. Fill those six seconds with fun and creativity. The sky’s the limit.

Of course, the app itself isn’t without its problems, which is expected considering Vine is still in its infant stage. Vines can take forever to load via the desktop Twitter site; they don’t load at all on my Droid. My friends experienced a few upload issues as well. Hopefully, some tweaks and a multiplatform app will fix some of these problems. Which is really me nudging the folks at Vine for an Android app soon.

What are your thoughts on Vine? Does your brand use Vine? Do you have any sweet Vines to share?


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