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Vine: How Much Can You Really Do in Six Seconds

February 27, 2013

Published here on February 18, 2013

When Twitter announced its acquisition of Vine, a video-based app that allows users to share six-second repeating videos, the initial reaction was one of confusion. “Great,” people said, “but what are we supposed to do with it?” Six seconds isn’t long enough to release a how-to video, a PSA or any kind of detailed employee bio.

Providing information isn’t the point. Similar to Twitter and Instagram, Vine is all about adding personality to an organization. recently declared that Vine is going to be “Big. Really, really big.” Just look at Vinepeek and Vinecats for examples of online Vine-based cultures cropping up already.

It’s all about the “fun” aspect of it.

Obviously, when producing a six-second video, you can’t take yourself too seriously. Like Twitter, Vine’s brevity forces you to get creative. When creating a Vine video, you should focus on putting as much organizational personality into the repeating frames as possible.

Vine’s bottom-line advantage is that it allows brands to snag the increasingly shortened attention spans of followers. Forget about those comparatively long three-and-a-half minute YouTube videos that only get 10 seconds of video time because the viewer saw something more interesting in the side bar. Attention spans haven’t shrunk past six seconds yet, and marketers should jump on this free resource, as it almost guarantees their entire message will be seen. Maybe even multiple times.

How to use it:

Check this post out to see examples of organizations already creatively using Vine. As you can see, the videos are quirky and endearing. With consumers today trusting mainstream advertising less and less, the unpolished look of Vine may be just what brands need to regain the trust of the public.

Social media is all about engaging your audiences. Some possible ways to do that with Vine include:

  • Shout-outs to other businesses or products that you like
  • One word/sentence testimonials from customers
  • Questions to your audience

You can also use Vine to further personalize you or your company:

  • Rapid timeline of the company
  • Brief introductions of your staff
  • Announcements, or even better, foreshadowing announcements (“Get ready for our big news on Friday!”)

Other aspects:

One of the positives of Vine is that it’s incredibly easy to use. There’s absolutely no editing needed; it’s not even allowed. You just tap your finger to start recording, and lift it to stop; Vine will splice together the segments for you.

Vine it’s not without some issues of its own. There were bad glitches on launch day, and Twitter is still working out how to prevent pornographic and offensive videos. The app-based social media tool is only available for the iPhone and iPad, but it should be branching out soon to other mobile platforms.


Vine has generated tons of discussion because it’s new; it’s hip; it’s on its way to becoming the next hot thing in social media. Since it requires absolutely no video or photographic training to use, I would get on board as soon as possible.

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About the author: Joseph Havey is an account manager for the Triangle-based Shelten Media, LLC, a start-up company specializing in social media marketing. He is a junior at N.C. State, majoring in Communication with a focus in PR and a member of N.C. State’s PRSSA chapter. He also writes for their newspaper, Technician. In his free time, he trains for triathlons.


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