Less than 3 months after being publicly launched, Twitter’s six-second video platform is quickly expanding into worldwide acknowledgement.
Its success can be attributed to a couple of factors, including smartphone pervasiveness and increased demand for video content, reflected in last year’s GIF format popularity.
Extra-short video popularity was started by GIFs
The GIF, an image format used for creating compressed, short animations has turned 25 last year. It was also awarded Word of the Year from The Oxford American Dictionaries.
Along with other artifacts from the 80’s, like yoga pants and raves, GIFs have recently benefited from a soaring renascence in popular culture.
They’ve mostly been used as “memes” – small units of culture, carrying ideas, symbols or practices, either dumb or deep, which are relevant to a wide range of individuals. GIFs have usually been used for quickly distributing favorite cut-outs from movies, music videos or commercials.
Vine is focused on content creation
As opposed to this, Twitter’s Vine is more about content creation, even thought it will definitely have its fair share of looping meme material, with added sound. It’s halfway between GIFs and youtube.
For another comparison, which is likely a marketing ploy, Vine is now known as the Instagram of video. This is very much tongue in cheek, due to the fact that Vine doesn’t allow filters or editing at all.
The film industry is backing the application
Earlier this year, Vine has collaborated with prestigious Tribeca Film Festival for a six-second film competition. Avid filmmakers submitted as many clips as they wanted in any of four categories: genre, auteur, animate, and series.
Winners will be announced on April 26, they will receive $600, and have their six second videos featured on the Tribeca website, plus the opportunity to brush shoulders with celebrities like Robert de Niro, who is one of the festival’s founders.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Robert De Niro had this to say about Twitter’s app:
“I was just trying to time on my iPhone six seconds, just to get a sense of what that is. It can actually be a long time […] you can tell a whole story in six seconds.”
Another highlight in Vine’s short history, this time as an ingenious stunt, was scored by independent production company Oscilloscope Laboratories. The studio submitted six second chunks of its upcoming movie “It’s A Disaster”, starring comedian David Cross, on a Vine channel. It created a huge buzz in the industry, which is exactly the type of boost that an independent studio needs to survive.
Vine now #1 on Apple’s app store
Vine is now the number one seller on Apple’s app store, which is a rare case for non-game apps.
All in all, Vine is a revolutionary niche platform representing a new step up in the big corporations’ game of social network dominance.
On a lighter note though, it’s also a great promotion tool which can do wonders for either people with filmmaking skills or producers who know how to milk it.
For many others, it’s simply a fun new social toy.