In October 2012, Twitter made headlines when it purchased an app called Vine for $30 million. At the time, the app was unfamiliar to most. However, in recent months, it’s exploded onto the national information and media scenes, and there are no signs that its rapid growth will slow down any time soon.
Vine gives Twitter users another way to share their media among followers. It allows people to make short six-second movies that loop in a manner similar to a GIF and then share them online. Clips can be shot in one six-second block or can be stitched together from shorter shots.
While some may view this as a simple distraction that will quickly disappear from the public consciousness, leaving no major impact, evidence shows otherwise. In the aftermath of the Boston Bombing earlier this spring, the first videos from the scene came not from news cameras, but from Vine accounts.
This viral, crowd-sourced journalism has the potential to radically change the way in which the average person receives and processes major news. The streamlined, time-limited format allows for a condensed focus on necessary details, and the app’s social media integration ensures that it can be shared with the click of a button.
In addition, major brands have begun to seize upon Vine as a marketing device. Some of the world’s largest companies have already established Vine presences, with Lowes releasing a series of Vines explaining simple, DIY home repairs, and companies such as Gap using it to build enthusiasm for incoming fashion lines. Other brands such as Pepsi have used the service to build buzz for new or struggling products, in this case, Pepsi’s “Max” energy drink.
This represents a brand-new, incredibly low-cost type of marketing that has the potential to add an entirely new dynamic to the advertising industry. Not only can Vines simply be shot and uploaded on an iPhone, cutting out traditional production costs, but they are also showing to be more successful than traditional online video advertising.
According to a recently released study by Unruly Media, branded Vines receive, on average, four times as many views as other branded online video ads. With the recent growth of mobile online video advertising, the mobile experience provided by Vine will only serve to have more of an influence on the marketplace.
The app presents an almost unlimited series of marketing possibilities, from short, attention-grabbing six-second ads to short clips that build interest for a larger content marketing plan. Given the aforementioned ease with which they can be shared, they also have the potential to reach enormous and incredibly diverse audiences that may not be traditionally targeted in demographic-based video advertising.
Vine’s meteoric rise has met with a few obstacles. Many criticized the app early after its release due to the large quantity of pornography that initially flooded many user accounts. In addition, many detractors initially pointed out the app’s lack of an editing function for the titles and captions of posted Vines. The native linking system has been panned as well. However, proponents have stressed that the app, although it has seen widespread adoption, is still in beta testing. By the time that the app is truly considered to be finished, many of these issues should be rectified.
Despite these initial setbacks, all signs point to a massive future for Vine. While the app presents some incredibly intriguing opportunities for the journalistically inclined, its true potential lies in the field of business. With its seamless Twitter integration, Vine is really the first type of social media that can bring in advertisements in an unobtrusive manner. The social aspect also allows the content to be widely disseminated and viewed at an almost nonexistent cost.
This social media integration has given Vine the opportunity to be the first social advertising platform. Although services such as Facebook have displayed tailored ad content for years, these ads have traditionally existed in the form of obvious sidebar displays or similar offerings. Vine allows brands to completely integrate their communication and advertising in a way that consumers have had little to no exposure to.
Vine’s potential to revolutionize the flow of information can’t be overstated. Simply put, it’s a visual version of Twitter, and one only has to look at recent historical events to understand the power that social media can have and the speed with which it can spread content around the globe. Vine may not only change the way we consume social media, but the way in which businesses reach new consumers and the way in which they advertise their products to them.
[Sources: Unruly Media, VentureBeat]