Developed by Vine Labs, Inc. (A subsidiary of Twitter)


Back when the Lumiere Brothers starting filming, they captured short scenes from everyday life.  These scenes, while seemingly meaningless to us now, enthralled audiences of there time, mostly due to the technology involved its novelty.



What is Vine?
Vine is social video sharing app akin to instagram.  Taking a line from these original Lumiere Brothers films, Vine allows you to record short segments of your life and experiences and posts them in a social newsfeed for your friends and followers to gain a glimpse into the world through your eyes.  According the developers blog:

Posts on Vine are about abbreviation — the shortened form of something larger. They’re little windows into the people, settings, ideas and objects that make up your life. They’re quirky, and we think that’s part of what makes them so special.


Usability:
At first glance, you realize that the navigation of this app is similar to that of many social media apps which work in a ‘feed’ type formula (extremely familiar if you use instagram).  The main difference is that as your screen ‘settles’ on an entry in the feed, it starts playing automatically.  Like how twitter lets you communicate a message in 140 characters, each video in the feed has a maximum of about 6 seconds.
The design choices in terms of navigation and usability were made quite intentionally.  Again, from the developers blog:

Here’s another example: Vine is a video service without a play button. This was intentional. Old things are beautiful, but new things should look, well… new. That’s why Vine doesn’t have a play button. It also doesn’t have a pause button, a timeline scrubber, a blinking red light, or dials and a brushed-metal finish to give you the impression that you’re using a dusty video camera.  There’s only one nod to traditional filmmaking; the create button, which is an abstracted video camera. 

When you are in the record window, you simply tap and hold your finger on the screen to record.  If you want to record something else in the clip, or pause recording for a few seconds, you lift you finger from the screen until you are ready to start filming again.



After you have finished your clip, it will compile it into a looping clip with sound and give you the option to add a caption or hashtags and the ability to post it to twitter and facebook in addition to your Vine newsfeed.  You select your options and that’s it!  Quick and painless.

Sustainability:

The app is very young.  It only launched just a couple weeks ago and has had some issues since then, but it is constantly evolving.  If you follow the developers official twitter account, they are always posting about new features and things they are testing out.  I can only imagine it is just a short amount of time before some basic filters are placed within the app.  Enhanced privacy and posting controls have been promised in the future as well.

Because the app was acquired by Twitter shortly before launch, the significant hurdle of gaining a user base will not be huge for them.  Right now, the userbase of my actual ‘friends’ is small, but existent.  Like facebook, instagram and other social networks, this will eventually grow.

Currently, the app is only available on iOS and it is not universal (technically limited to iPod touch and iPhone, though you can run it on an iPad).  Like other social networks, it is inevitable that it will become cross-platform (I’m sure that is twitter’s eventual goal).

Its definitely something that looks to be quite a competitor with instagram, however, I think this will benefit both networks in the long run.  Still photography and video are two completely different animals, so if anything this will provided another artistic outlet to social media-philes.

Value:
The app is free!  For what you pay (nothing) you are receiving an app with a familiar, but unique functionality.  It provides a new way to show your feelings, waste time, or get creative.  This app could be a really unique tool for event hosts to promote their events and give people that ‘extra push’ at the last minute to come to something happening at that time; or to record a promo for something happening in the future.  


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