Vine: Here’s the Thing

I need another social network in my life like I need a hole in my head. Let’s just get that out of the way right now: there’s no need for another Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr in my life, not when Pinterest, LinkedIn and even the new MySpace want a piece of my time. No, I’m fine with what I’ve got, thank you very much.

Then there’s Vine. At first, my usual “meh” response was triggered, but then I started learning more. Vine was recently acquired by Twitter, giving some legitimacy to the fledgling service. People have also used the service for a wide variety of things, including movies. So what allure does it have for me? Let’s find out.

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On the Vine

Think of a post on Vine like a video version of a tweet. You have six seconds to create a movie that then loops endlessly. It comes complete with sound, and you can even make cuts as you go. It’s akin to Twitter’s 140 characters, but they move. Got it?

Another no-hassle setup. Well, assuming you're cool with linking to your Twitter account, anyway.

Another no-hassle setup. Well, assuming you’re cool with linking to your Twitter account, anyway.

As such, the feed of people you follow — just like on Twitter or Facebook — is full of looping six-second clips, so choose your friends wisely. As interesting as it is two see two fat dogs (ahem), you’ve got to get some creative people on your Vine or else it’s going to be quite dull.

How it Works

When you first fire up the app, you’re prompted to sign in using either your Twitter account or a new email. I chose Twitter because of reasons, then went on to the next step, the feed. Right there are a whole bunch of videos for you to peruse, and if you want, you can go to the next section and find people from Twitter or otherwise to follow. It’s quite simple.

See? You can find people.

See? You can find people.

With your feed prepared and ready to go, you can just spend your time watching the world go by six seconds at a time. I know that’s what I did for a time, and although that was fun, the service is just so new that the amount of interesting things that are going on seem to be few and far between. But that doesn’t mean it’s all crap, far from it.

Explore hashtags and view a feed. See? This is fun.

Explore hashtags and view a feed. See? This is fun.

For example, look at Oscilloscope and their new release, It’s a Disaster. Guess what, it’s on Vine. Yes, you can watch a portion of the movie, all on Vine. Then there’s the other issue, the whole porn thing. This blew up right away, as entrepreneurial and generally naked people started turning up on the service with hashtags reflecting their true nature. Although Vine was pretty proactive about that problem, it’s still around if you do some very light searching, so be wary if you hand your iPhone to a child and they start digging around the app.

Making Your Own Movie

If you want to make your own flick, it’s pretty easy. In fact, Vine will walk you through it. Aim your iPhone camera at an object that you want to film, then hold your finger on the screen. As long as your finger is on the screen, the camera is live and you’re actively recording. Move around, tap as you move, whatever you want to do — Vine records it until a little green checkmark appears in the bottom right corner, indicating that you can stop.

Vine can be very touchy-feely.

Vine can be very touchy-feely.

Once done, you can caption your video as you see fit, then post to Vine, Facebook and Twitter. Geo tag it too, if you prefer, and then the post goes into your feed for all to see.

Now everyone can see my fat dogs.

Now everyone can see my fat dogs.

Can you upload your own videos that you took prior to getting the app? No, at least not that I could find. The only way is to capture it all live, which, as anyone who’s ever taken a video knows, can be hit or miss. Sometimes, your dogs do something interesting. Most of the time, they take up space and sleep — or they do if you have my dogs.

Break it Down for Me

Let’s bottom line this thing: is Vine fun? Well yes. And no. Maybe.

I like Vine, in that it adds depth to my Twitter feed. It means that I can post a quick video of my son doing something cute, or capture a moment for posterity that otherwise might be left in the ether. But I can’t upload my own videos (even if they were edited), so those fun moments that I already have can’t be shared. Plus, it comes down to users in the system — once there are more, the app will become more fun. Until then, not as much.

So is Vine for you? Try it for free and find out. Just make sure not to take any pictures of fat dogs, I’ve got that territory covered.


It's like Twitter for movies — which makes sense, since Twitter just bought the service.