Vine, Twitter’s six-second video sharing app, added the ability to send private messages today:
From Vine’s early days, we recognized that there was a growing desire and need for private messaging on Vine. We’ve watched the community come up with some clever ways to send videos to their friends as we’ve been working on this solution. Now you can privately send Vine videos and text messages to your friends. You can even send videos to anyone in your address book, even if they aren’t on Vine.
With the update, available on iOS 6+ and Android 4.0+ devices, Vine pushes further into Snapchat’s territory and catches up with Instagram, which introduced its private Instagram Direct feature in December.
Private Vine messages, “VMs,” can be sent to one or multiple people. The conversations created are one-to-one, meaning if you send a video to seven friends you will create seven separate conversations. Also your message inbox is divided into two sections, Friends (people you know) and Other (people outside your network). If you want to block messages from outside your network, you can do that.
As TechCrunch notes in a very good overview of the new feature, any entity can send private messages to individuals, including brands and marketers.
No doubt some will experiment. The question is how users will react.