Vine – what is it good for?
2013-03-21 09:20:04 By John Kimbell

Those of a certain era maybe compelled to sing ‘absolutely nothing’ at this point – both in reference to the classic song from 1969 and the video sharing service that Twitter bought earlier this year.

If you’ve not used Vine since its launch, to be honest you’ve not missed a great deal.  Admittedly it has already had to overcome a public backlash after hard-core pornography was chosen as an ‘Editors Pick’ earlier in the year – but other than that brief scandal, its launch has been a relatively low key one.

If you’ve not used it, this free Twitter owned service echoes the brevity of its big brother and allows users to share ‘micro clips’ of video – allowing just 6 seconds of either continual or ‘punctuated’ recording time.  It has resulted in a plethora of primarily creative and amusing videos being uploaded by trendy, early adopter media types.

Its early days already feel very much like those of Twitter when many people experimented with it, not knowing exactly what it was they were doing.   Looking back, many people originally tweeted with comments such as “hello”, “working out what this is” or other tweets similar to that of Jack Dorsey’s first tweet “just setting up my twttr” (below).

It took Twitter the best part of 5 years to gain any traction and really establish itself as a mainstream social channel and I am anticipating Vine to follow a similar path.

The early ‘WTF’ experimental phase appears to be in full swing with number of random videos (such as https://vine.co/v/b5jxWMKlw1g) already appearing across Vine.  These are interspersed with some very creative executions  as well as the more unique movie style videos that actor Adam Goldberg (of Friends and Saving Private Ryan fame and already crowned ‘King of Vine’) has contributed (see - https://vine.co/v/b1q2xaX9wxJ & https://vine.co/v/bv2AKm2AZ1Z).

The signs are encouraging and already a number of brands and media outlets are using Vine as a cost effective and innovative way to bring to life previously ‘flat’ content.  Some great examples of brands helping to demonstrate what Vine is good for include:-

This is really encouraging and goes a long way to demonstrate that if used appropriately, Vine is good for something.

At the very least it is an innovative tool that can help enhance a 140 character tweet and bring a brands social media presence to life. Most people are likely to find video content more compelling than an image or some copy so the nature of the service means that it shouldn’t find it too hard to gain some momentum.

One thing is for sure - Vine needs to find its niche, just as Instagram and Pinterest did.  It was a smart move by Twitter to acquire Vine, but it does need to put resources into developing the service as well as encouraging more users to sign up before the novelty wears off, people forget all about it and it ends up in the social media graveyard.