Twitter’s video service Vine: The next big content opportunity

Twitter’s forthcoming six second video service Vine is going to be huge – and that includes for brands who understand the content opportunity, predicts Leslie Nassar.

“It’s Instagram for Video,” is how the technology press is touting Twitter’s new short-video service.

And it is. Kind of. But Vine is probably more like 12seconds, the defunct video microblogging service. Founded in 2008, it was touted as “Twitter for Video” and enabled users to record and upload exactly 12 seconds of footage. While popular with oversharers and social media consultants, the service was largely ignored by brands and the wider public.

Fast forward to a post-Instagram, post-Snapchat 2013, Twitter has resurrected the short-video concept, dropped the duration of videos to six seconds, and launched it as Vine.


So what’s changed? Why will Vine succeed where 12seconds failed?

The audience is ready. Instagram, Snapchat, and FaceTime have taught smartphone users not only how to use their cameras, but instilled the expectation that every mundane moment is worthy of sharing.

Then there’s the tools and technology. Uploading video — even twelve seconds of video — over a mobile connection in 2008 was a horribly slow and terribly expensive. In 2013, we have phones capable of wireless speeds faster than those of home users in 2008, and mobile data costs has dropped from dollars to cents per megabyte.

If it takes little more time to shoot and upload a short video, than it does to compose and submit a short piece of text, Vine will succeed.

For brands, Vine represents another content opportunity. Many will flounder — taking TVCs and ordering them recut for six seconds — but a few will succeed. They’ll get it. They’ll grant staff the ability to share spontaneous observations and moments in time.

Six seconds isn’t short. It’s plenty of time to share a behind the scenes glimpse of an artist preparing for a show, or a marshmallow-making machine in action.

I’m optimistic about Vine’s possibilities, but lord, protect us from an eternity of looping cockshots.

  • Leslie Nassar is technology director at Amnesia Razorfish

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