Growing up in the digital age, I feel like I’ve seen it all. From on-demand television to iPhone programming that can ask how your day is going, it seems that the realm of technological possibilities continues to grow. The various social media platforms used through these technological advances continue to amaze me as well. By no means has the latest trend in the social networking world surpassed the ingenuity of Facebook, but a little gem called Vine has caused quite a stir within the online world. I have seen a number of people and businesses upload their various videos onto the web already, and I cannot help but feel intrigued by the techniques the platform can be used for.
Founded by Dom Hofmann and Rus Yusupov in June of 2012, Vine was created as a mobile app that allowed its users to produce and post six second video clips to the web. These videos can either be shared or embedded via social networks such as Twitter or Facebook. The app was actually acquired by Twitter in October 2012, and although it was initially available for iOS, Twitter is now working on bringing the app to other platforms. The initial impact of Vine was unfortunately not as extraordinary next to Facebook or Twitter. But, since its entry to the social media world, it has quickly gained steam, with users posting more than 100,000 Vine videos in one weekend just three weeks after the app’s debut. Just recently, on April 9, 2013, Vine became the number one most downloaded free app within The App Store (iOS).
According to iTunes, Vine is “the best way to see and share life in motion.” You can “create short, beautiful, looping videos in a simple and fun way for your friends and family to see.” It is easy to “find, follow, and interact with people close to you” and to “explore trending posts, featured hashtags and editor’s picks.” Vine is like the all in one package. It combines the ideas behind Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, and brings them to life in an interesting stop-motion way, with just the touch of a finger.
Not only are people using this as a way to connect, but businesses are also following the trend. By breaking through the clutter in an interactive, creative way, companies such as Dove and General Electric have already used these short but effective videos to promote their brands by focusing on entertainment and innovation. The fact that the videos are brief also leaves consumers guessing or wanting to know more about the companies and brands as well, which is where the efficiency of Twitter handles and hashtags come into play to engage the audience
ASOS, a clothing company, used their Vine to promote their brand by creating a cute, playful video back in January. The six second clip showed a box, with the top opening and different clothing items finding their way out of it and onto a person. The message read “Loving #vine? We wanna see you unbox your #asos order, tag #ASOSUnbox (we may even give you something new to unbox!) #Fashion.” This was a perfect way to engage the audience and have them interact with the company itself by sending in videos of their own. Even Nintendo used Vine to give their audience a sneak peek at a new product set to come out later in the month. The message they sent with their video read, “Check out what you get with the Wii U ZombiU Deluxe Set, coming to US/Can on 2/17! (MSRP $389.99) #Nintendo #WiiU.” The teaser was an easy way to create hype and get people talking. I personally feel Vine is especially useful when it gives the audience an inside look at companies behind the scenes. Whether these clips are of the companies’ employees or how a product is made, it gives the company more personality, bringing them to life in the palm of one’s hand, and builds important brand loyalty.
I recently decided to jump on the Vine bandwagon and make an account for myself. I was curious to see how simple it actually was to make a six second mini clip. Although my three videos are not exactly the product of genius, I was pretty amazed by how quickly and easily the app could be used. I fooled around with it, creating one with the illusion that my television remote moved across my bed from one side to the other. (Again, not extraordinary). But, it felt like I produced something greater than just a picture. I turned a remote control into a work of art. It was that simple. I’ll just have to wait until next time to really channel my inner Einstein and Da Vinci! As for the future of Vine, I’m excited to see where it leads and hope that more people adopt the app and use it more to promote their personal and company brands.
Nicole Sullivan and is a sophomore Communication Interest Major, with intended Advertising and Journalism minors at the University of Delaware. She is part of the Public Relations Student Society of America, the Student Centers Programming Advisory Board, and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars on campus.