What Instagram did for mobile/social photos, Twitter is hoping Vine will do for mobile/social video.
The company confirmed its Vine acquisition today, and launched the mobile video service with an iPhone/iPod Touch app. (If you want to try it out, best to use that link for the download because searching for Vine in Apple’s App Store is a mess right now.)
Like Twitter itself, Vine is all about brevity. Videos play in a loop, and are limited to six seconds — yes, six seconds. Your reaction to that is probably the same as when you heard that tweets were limited to 140 characters. Clearly, Twitter and Vine are expecting users to not only adjust, but to also learn to love short videos.
Some of our editorial team crew have already been playing with Vine. I’ll spare you six seconds of my office, but here’s Danny Sullivan’s first video — showing up on Twitter.com as part of a recent tweet.
Stop motion vine vine.co/v/b5H0FPvUvHu
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) January 24, 2013
As you can see, the Vine purchase plays nicely into Twitter’s ongoing transformation into a content destination, with tweets holding a lot more content than just 140 characters of text. But what about…
The Brand/Marketing Angle?
Just as many top brands have adopted Instagram, Vine could also become an important part of a social/content strategy for some companies and marketers. The app has pros and cons in this way — it’s really easy to make and publish a short video, but the production aspect is limited to what you can make by starting and stopping the video recorder.
Beyond that, and this might be the biggest thing for Twitter, the brief video could become a new ad format for Twitter’s growing number of advertisers. Don’t be surprised to see Vine videos in Promoted Tweets in the near future.