Whether through a #firstpost hashtag or the naughty content problem (who would have guessed?), chances are you’ve heard a thing or two about Vine in the past five days. If not, here’s the scoop: Vine is an iPhone app that lets you create a six second video that loops automatically. It can be one six second shot or a series of shorter clips spliced together.
As Vine co-founder and GM Dom Hofmann puts it, “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.”
Predictably, articles have popped up across the blogosphere examining the handful of brands that immediately jumped on board with videos of their own. Most of these initial Vines are amateurish attempts at stop motion animation, or shoddily strung together office scenes. Meh. But that’s not to say the platform is void of potential. While some say the App Store’s current number one application will quickly fade to a digital drop in the pan, there are a few early signs that give me hope.
Immediate reaction to the app’s release has produced a string of amateur videos. It’s a brand new platform, and we community managers admittedly know little to nothing about stop motion animation. But there are trained professionals out there, and they are already producing six second clips of truly remarkable content. Take Ian Padgeham, for example. Padgham, illustrator and video animator for Twitter, has already produced a few beautifully-executed Vines. These come from his personal account and have nothing to do with the Twitter brand (other than, you know, the fact that Twitter owns Vine). But with this level of execution and creativity, there’s obvious potential for parallel quality on the brand level.
— Ian Padgham (@origiful) January 29, 2013
Vine and User-Generated Content
The other sign that gives me hope is Vinepeek. As simple as can be, Vinepeek is an aggregate that ports in the most recently posted Vines in real time. It’s a truly fascinating and addicting feed of six second vignettes of the world. Yes, there are a lot of desk/cat/dog scenes, but over the past two days I’ve witnessed a noticeable improvement in the quality of Vines; they’re getting more creative by the minute. This worldwide entusiasm for accessible video production presents ample opportunity for brands to tap into a rich source of user-generated content.
At the end of the day, a semi-kitschy platform like Vine won’t necessarily be fused to calls to action or measurable ROI. Instead, it’s about creative execution and telling a story. As Gary Vaynerchuk tells TechCrunch, “Storytelling is changing, and unless brands know how to tell theirs in a quick, witty and purposeful way that is native to these new platforms, they will be left behind.”