Vine: Artistic, Funny & Personal
Three weeks ago, I started using Vine, the 6-second video app that Twitter released in late January. I’ve made 21 Vines myself, liked 43 Vines made by others. I’m following 65 people and have 74 followers.
It’s early, but I think Vine is on the trajectory to be a widespread and popular app.
The 6 second format is great — it’s short enough to not get boring and long enough to express some very interesting ideas (if you are creative about it). The mechanics of recording pressing and releasing the screen are intuitive but you still need some time to get the hang of it as you’ve got to time things pretty carefully.
There is some spamming of popular hashtags like #loop and #magic but I’m sure discovery will improve over time. Meanwhile, my feed updates frequently enough with interesting content that I find myself checking it several times a day.
What kind of content will appear on Vine?
One question that critics asked of Twitter was “What will people tweet about and why will anyone care?” That question has been answered: people share links, news, photos, location, jokes, ideas, questions, answers, rage, love and a host of other things that have of course shown significant engagement.
A similar question might be asked of Vine: what kinds of things can be shot in a mere 6 seconds? My thesis is that Vine will be dominated by three types of videos: artistic, funny and personal ones.
Hunter Harrison calls himself an “Actor, Artist, Athlete, Astronaut, Ant Farmer”. His vines include amazingly choreographed Lego stop-motion movies. He only has 241 followers on Twitter, but 2388 on Vine. Here’s a Batman themed Vine:
Lego Limbo…Batman Edition. #Remake #Batman #StopMotion #Magic #Loop #2013 #Lego vine.co/v/bn7AlQEdvYU— Hunter Harrison (@hunrharrison) February 5, 2013
Adam Goldberg was featured as an editor’s pick for his strange dream-like series #merrittxanadu44 about the mysterious disappearance of his friend/girlfriend Merritt. Some people have criticized his “overproduced” look, but the fact that he’s creating a little mini-series in 6 second clips is fascinating.
Come on in (iv): I’m starting to feel… #merrittxanadu44 vine.co/v/bv996enPZI7— Adam Goldberg (@TheAdamGoldberg) February 13, 2013
Nick Confalone makes incredibly funny (and really well-timed) vines with his young baby boy. This one took me a few tries to fully grok, but I love it and I’m not alone: it has over 755 likes.
Hilarious and impressed he fit it all into 6 seconds. RT @nickconfalone: Pterodactyl Contest #vine #cute #pets buff.ly/WPK8iJ— Jason Shen (@JasonShen) February 7, 2013
From a more crude perspective, Colin Young is the lead vocalist in a band called Twitching Tongues and all his Vines are of him pulling awful-but-kinda-funny pranks on his poor girlfriend. Here’s a recent one that got 565 likes in under 24 hours.
Stringstorm. vine.co/v/b6m0vLgQxmO— Colin Young (@ColinYovng) February 18, 2013
Finally, there will be many personal Vines that people shoot just to share what’s going on in their life. They might not get tons of likes or views, but if your friends are on Vine, you will enjoy sharing what you’re up to with them (and vice versa).
Here’s one of mine from a board game night I had recently with some friends. In the video we’re playing a card game called “Bang!” that’s kind of like Mafia/Night Watchman.
Playing BANG (with friends!) vine.co/v/bvbBp5jPgvr— Jason Shen (@JasonShen) February 10, 2013
Keith Weaver who’s a designer in Atlanta hanging out with his nephew and niece. I don’t know him personally and this video is still somewhat interesting to me — I’m sure it’s far more interesting to his family.
Dance party with Uncle Dan #vineportraits vine.co/v/br3mDXZ1K7M— Keith Weaver (@keithweaver) February 17, 2013
The way people use Vine will no doubt change as the platform evolves. With direct-to-user videos it could become the video equivalent of SMS. I’ve seen musicians show off the tracks they’re working on in a Dribble-esque style. It also lends itself to consuming without needing to create (a lot of my followers have zero Vines of their own). And yes, I’ve already seen one “sponsored Vine” that was actually quite tastefully done.
Art, humor and personal stories are a deep part of our culture and I expect to see them to drive much of the usage of Vine going forward. If you’re on Vine, you should follow me at @jasonshen.