VINE: The Latest In Short Form Communication

Sarah MayerSocial media

by Becki Davis, SH/FT Collaborator

Vine officially launched on January 24, 2013 – the same day, Twitter acquired the service. It is currently still operating as a separate entity (meaning, it’s an app that must be downloaded in order to be used rather than being an option that’s accessed via Twitter’s own software).

According to the Vine blog, “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.” Essentially, they’re 6-second snippets that get looped into a constant video feed.


The snippets

What you decide to post on Vine is up to you. There are no rules for what you can post, as long as the content is yours. Of course, it must adhere to certain terms which include but are not limited to: no impersonations of other people or entities, no illegal activity, no spam, no harassment, no threats to others, and no violating anyone’s rights – all standard stuff. Otherwise, the sky is the limit.

If you’re a business owner posting on behalf of your company, just imagine the possibilities. You could give a quick glimpse of what a typical day may be like for you, a sneak peek at a new product that may be launching soon or show potential clients something they might not know about a product or service you offer.


A post such as this one made us think about those little flipbooks where you could turn individual drawings into animations by flipping through pages quickly. Vine allows you to do something similar by using images from real life as well as audio. The audio is recorded from whatever you’re filming; it doesn’t get added after the fact.

Lesson from the above Vine reference: the audio got distorted a bit because of the way it was filmed. If you don’t want choppy audio, (particularly if you’re making a product Vine for your own company as opposed to covering a fashion show), make sure there’s no audio in it.

It’s a quick snapshot

You can write long posts describing your company. Create 2-minute videos to show folks the ins and outs of your products. Exhibit your wares at trade shows and conferences. Run print ads. Get reviewed. Get word-of-mouth referrals. And countless many other marketing tactics, too. But in our modern society where attention spans run short, even folks that are interested in your product might not take the time to investigate further.

We’ve all saved something in our favorites or emailed a link to ourselves to read later – but do we always get back to check that favorite/link? Probably not.

But most of us have six seconds to watch a short video without too much challenge. Hence, Vine can be an interesting complement to existing marketing efforts. It’s an easy way to raise brand awareness, show off features, and get people interested in something that you’re doing.


There are always glitches and kinks to be worked out anytime new technology comes out. Vine is making improvements based on feedback from its users. For example, when Vine first launched, you could only post to Facebook/Twitter.  If you did so at the time that you originally posted it, there was no way to go back after the fact and repost the video (for example if it didn’t work the first time). They addressed and fixed this issue.

We noticed two main drawbacks. Vine is not yet available for Android, but it is reported to be coming soon.  The other is that it doesn’t always work in non-native Twitter apps.  For example, we tried to get some Vines to play via TweetCaster, but it kept getting stuck and wouldn’t play.  It does seem to work just fine when using the regular Twitter app and we haven’t noticed any issues with it via web.

Applications of Vine

Not sure how Vine can apply to you/your business?

Think about taking something that might normally take a while to cover and using Vine to show an abbreviated version of it. If you’re trying to think of ideas for your restaurant, for example, you could show a bunch of quick shots of ingredients, then food being prepared, then a dish as it’s ready to go out to the client.  If your business is to fix cars that have been in an accident, you could do a time lapse of the car coming in smashed up, then show the work being done on it, and then the final result of a car that’s back to normal.  Here’s a post that shows you 15 examples of how businesses are promoting their products using Vine.

We want to see your creativity using Vine and we’ll reward you. SH/FT staff will select the finest video. The winner will receive a copy of Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. Get your index finger working – shoot a video, post it on Facebook or Twitter, copy the url and add it to our comments section of this blog with your email. Tap away, our 6-second video Coppolas!