Mobile Video Sharing Apps

Vine was launched on the 24th of January 2013 by Twitter. It is a mobile video sharing app that captures and shares short looping videos. It is a free download from the App Store, or you can get it on Google play.

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Vine, by Vine Labs Inc. is described as “the best way to see and share life in motion. Create short, beautiful, looping videos in a simple and fun way for your friends and family to see.”

Vine was founded by Dom Hofmann and Rus Yusupov in June 2012. They were joined a month later by Colin Kroll as CTO. The company was acquired by Twitter in October 2012.

The app can be used to create short video clips of six seconds or less. The video clips, which can contain sound, play in a continuous loop. They can be shared or embedded on social networking services such as Twitter and Facebook

Vine was quickly dubbed the ‘Instagram of video’, and hundreds of thousands of videos were quickly uploaded.

Its popularity reached a high shortly after its release, during New York Fashion Week as fashion writers used Vine to capture and share six-second scenes from the shows.

Though Vine was initially available only for iOS devices, Twitter has been working on bringing the app to other platforms; Vine for Android was released on June 3, 2013 for devices with Android version 4.0 or higher.

Within a couple of months, Vine became the most used video-sharing application in the market, even with low adoption of the app. On April 9, 2013, Vine became the iOS App Store’s number one most downloaded free app.

In June 2013 Instagram, launched its own video-sharing service, which allows 15 seconds of video to be shared, compared with Vine’s six. It also has various filters that can be added to enhance clips. The number of videos shared on Vine dropped straight away and more than five million videos were shared with Instagram on the first day alone.

Interestingly 15 seconds is a common length for TV commercials and so offers the possibility for commercial users to load content using Instagram .

Vine introduced a range of new features in early July. Better camera features, including a new grid, a ghosting tool, autofocus and the addition of channels to categorise videos, the facility to repost other people’s videos and the ability to protect posts, have all been introduced.

There are other video-sharing apps and networks available. Vilynx is a brand new app, still in Beta format at the time of writing in July 2013. It takes videos and creates a short clip, the size of a picture file, which can be shared on other social networks. This allows people to choose if they want to watch the whole video from the clip.

How will this be exploited commercially?

As already referenced, during New York Fashion Week in February, fashion writers used Vine to capture and share six-second scenes from the shows.

Another early use of Vine was in journalism. Six seconds is long enough to cover many dramatic news events.On February 1, 2013, when a Turkish journalist used it to document the aftermath of a suicide bombing outside the U.S. embassy in Turkey.

The app has also been used by Columbia Records to promote Big Time Rush’s new album “24/seven” by showing the album track names.

Malibu Rum has promoted their brand on Vine, showing what happens when good things come together.

And as already discussed, Instagram’s 15 second length lends itself readily to commercials.

How can businesses use Vine and similar apps?

As with all new tools that generate interest, many businesses will be experimenting with these apps, in particular to help with social media marketing. The challenge will be to make the most of the relatively short clip to communicate with their audience. When creating content for Vine, it may be treated as a preview.

Clips will need to be attention grabbing and creative, but may offer opportunity to show consumers something they don’t normally see. If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is the value of 6 or 15 seconds in creating or showcasing a brand personality ?

Brand followers may be asked to submit their videos, competitions may be mounted to encourage the public to interact with businesses or brands .

How are they using your product? What enjoyment are they getting from your brand? How does it enhance their quality of life?

It will be interesting to observe which system becomes most commercially viable, and what will be the commercial uses.