Vine App: A New Tool for Visual Reporting Via Twitter – #Gamechanger?

03 Feb 2013


If you’ve been awake at some point in the last couple of weeks, then you have for sure heard through the grapevine about the new free video sharing app from Twitter that hit the scene on January 24th.

Vine, currently only available on the iPhone and iPod touch, allows users to create and share 6-second (or less) videos – full stop.  Brevity is the name of this game, so if you’ve had a difficult time expressing your most profound thoughts and musings in 140 character tweets, then Vine is probably not your next social media tool.

With the Vine app, you can stop and start your recordings at any place, and once you’re done with your creation, it becomes a continuously looping video for you to share. So essentially: a handheld GIF-builder, made available to a currently GIF-hungry population. Except the end result isn’t a GIF*, but an actual video with audio (though there is an app where you can convert your Vines into proper animated GIFs if you so wish).

Vine is incredibly easy to use, links to your Twitter account, and it’s future and potential are undoubtedly huge, especially when you think of the power social media has already given to citizen journalism. Now everyone (with an iPhone, that is) has a platform to share their live recordings instantly, with no editing tools, no filters, no audio alterations – just raw footage.  The shots you take are stitched together in sequential order as well, so there is no way to reorder and trim.

These limitations will surely give Vine an increased credibility way beyond any other social media app currently out there, specifically in terms of news reporting – which has already started on the platform. When a water main broke last week on Fifth Avenue in New York, people documented it on Vine. Also, a recent Vine video showing a broken-down train in a San Francisco station was quickly picked up by local media long before city officials were able to explain what had occurred.

Simply put, Vine is going to be huge. lays it out perfectly,

“Like Twitter and Instagram before it, it’s easy to denounce Vine as banal. But when a plane landed in the Hudson River or Tahrir Square erupted in violence, the very things once widely considered narcissistic diversions were accepted, and then embraced, as powerful tools for rapidly distributing information and shaping public opinion. Vine will have its Tahrir Square moment, and soon. It is destined to be a horrifying window that opens on a violent, capricious world, and to loop it back upon itself.”

What do you think Vine means for the way the world will report on the news?

*Named word of the year for 2012 by Oxford American Dictionaries