Twitter launches Vine – a six second video sharing service, but is that really long enough?

Alex Masters

vine app 300x225 Twitter launches Vine   a six second video sharing service, but is that really long enough?Twitter has launched its very own video sharing service that goes by the name of Vine. Designed to record and share short snippets of video content, Vine clips are effectively the video equivalent to a ‘tweet’. Perpetually looping and accompanied by sound, Vine clips are shared in much the same way as you would share an Instagram image.

The idea behind the service is to allow users to record video clips of up to six seconds in length that can then be shared with friends, followers and the general public via social networks or embedded tweets. The major difference between this service and a service such as YouTube is simply the length of time available to record your content. Just six seconds.

On one hand, the six second time limit is good, because it sets a maximum potential file size for each video, meaning it’ll be kind to your mobile device’s battery life and associated data allowance. This is especially important given the number of Vine posts you might potentially view or be exposed to on a daily basis via social media.

On the other hand, this artificial time limit severely restricts the scope of each video. For example, try reading a full 140 character tweet in under six seconds without racing to fit it in. Trust me, it’s almost impossible, I’ve tried.
So if Vine clips are too short to be practically useful then exactly what is the service good for?

Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo retweeted a Vine clip demonstrating the preparation of ‘Steak tartare in six seconds’. It sounds interesting, up until the point at which the clip starts playing. Each moment flashes by so fast that it’s almost nauseating to watch. It then proceeds to loop over and over again, like a scratched DVD. Thankfully, Vine clips that are embedded into web pages are muted by default. Here’s is a link to the clip in question for your viewing pleasure… (and another here).

Alternatively, there is Viddy. A competing video sharing service offering similar features but with a time limit of 15 seconds. It’s still short but at least you can feasibly deliver a message to your viewers within the time available. Viddy clips seem to work well at this length, and the service has gained significant traction over the last 12 months, with many active high profile users.

Celebrities such as Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Jessica Alba, Snoop Dogg (or Lion) and even Bill Cosby regularly post Viddy clips to hundreds of thousands of followers. They are just the right length to get an engaging message across.

I like the idea behind Vine and it’s elegant iOS app. It’s fast, easy and intuitive. Traits that are invaluable if you want a mass audience to use and engage in a service such as this. Twitter has a lot of experience in this area, so I if anyone can make it work, it should be them. However, I just can’t get on board with the debilitatingly short six second time limit.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Vine will be useful in ways that we are yet to discover. Will it succeed as a service for video sharing in a similar way as Instagram did for photography? Only time will tell but for the time being I’m more than a little skeptical.
The standalone Vine app is free to download in the Apple App Store for iPhone and iPod Touch. There are currently no release dates scheduled for other mobile platforms such as Android and Windows Phone.

Do you think Vine is a great idea with the potential to grow into a useful tool for social sharing, or is fundamentally flawed by its self imposed six second limit?

Tagged in: , , , , , , , ,
  • William

    Say it in less.

  • GiL

    an instagram site inspired by the wizarding world of harry potter

  • HWRW

    Instagram: 400billion million zillion photos of plates of food with ugly filters applied. The last thing we need is 400billion million zillion 6 second videos of the bloody food as well!

  • harry hart

    Most of my best experiences have been around 5 seconds in duration.

  • dansus

    Google Snapchat..

  • Sean Cauffiel

    Gdamn it, Twitter is so stupid.

  • Thwyllo

    More egocentric drivel.

  • Rick Kraft

    Hey bud, how’s it going tod….. lol. I think the only think it’ll be good for sharing is JT’s ‘Dick in a box’ haha

Most viewed



Property search
Browse by area

Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter