So, despite my best efforts to resist, I gave in and have been using Vine for the last month or so.
(Aside: I would be remiss if I didn’t give a shout-out to my colleague, Laurie Blandford, who was enthusiastically sharing Vine with pretty much everyone in the office after she got hooked by it. This is all your fault, Laurie. All. Your. Fault.)
But I must admit – it’s actually an app (and social network) that I have fun using.
A LITTLE BACKGROUND
So, for those unfamiliar with Vine, you may be familiar with its parent company, Twitter. In the same way that Twitter makes you be concise in 140 characters or less, Vine allows you to record and share up to six seconds of video.
Yes, you read that right. Six seconds of video.
This was the source of my initial apprehension with the app.
As a multimedia journalist with a background in digital video production, I’m used to producing content anywhere from about 30 seconds up to nine or 10 minutes in length, with the average being one-to-two minutes. But six seconds?
Yes, six seconds. Just go with it.
The Vine app, which is available only on iPhone, is amazingly simple to use. It doesn’t burden the user with an abundance of functions or controls. Simply press the ‘Camera’ icon in the upper right-hand corner, then tap the screen to record video. It will record for as long as you press the screen, up to six seconds. When you take your finger off the screen, it will pause, allowing you to cut to another scene if you wish.
Users can add hashtags, tag users or add location information to their posts as well, which are functions familiar to users of Twitter, Instagram and other media.
You can only share video that you record using the Vine app. So, if you happen to have a five-second clip shot with your phone’s native camera – sorry, not going to work.
WHEN IT WORKS…
Creative people thrive off creative challenges. While exploring what users are sharing on Vine, I found a few sources of inspiration, including:
1. Stop-motion animation. There’s lots of it on Vine, and a lot of it’s done really well. Like this one, by yelldesign, which is featured in the Editor’s Picks section:
2. Brian Carroll. Who would’ve though post-it notes and lip-synching would be a recipe for fun on Vine? Apparently, Brian Carroll did, and he’s one of my favorite Viners because of 6-second clips like this one:
3. Loops. When your first frame and your last frame are the same (or pretty darn close), you can create a pretty interesting clip that loops on and on and on. Like this one, by Charlie Love.
HOW I USE VINE
I’m still discovering my “Vine” voice, but so far I have:
- Experimented with stop-motion and plan to do more;
- Used it to share quick behind-the-scenes/scene-setter visuals (from photo assignments and work events) with my Twitter followers (as well as the Vine community);
- Taken lots of videos of my basset hound, Missy – like this one:
What can I say? I’m a sucker for my furry, four-legged, brown-eyed girl.
HOW DO YOU USE VINE?
Follow me on Vine, or connect with me on Twitter and share with me some of your own Vine creations. You can find me on Twitter as @carnolddesigns.
- Get updates direct from the Vine team at the Vine blog here.
- Follow Vine on Twitter (@Vineapp)
- Laptopmag.com: 10 Best Vine App Tips
- Mashable.com: 12 Ways to make your videos stand out
- Shoot smarter smartphone video