Twitter, in my mind, is rather notorious for being slow to change -- which is why I was surprised that its brand-new Vine: Make a Scene app, which allows users to create six-second video loops and post them on Twitter, might just be the social media game-changer we've been waiting for.
One of the secrets to micro-blogging site Tumblr's success (roughly 18 billion pageviews per month) -- especially among 18-to-34-year-olds is its eye-catching animated GIFs -- endlessly looping mini-scenes that awesomely illustrate a concept. Take a look at the Tumblr main page, and you’ll see why I call that age group the “GIF Generation.” Animation rules!
Well, it rules unless you prefer a different flavor of social media. If you’re a Facebooker and of the GIF generation, you know that Facebook flattens animated GIFs and only shows still images. Animated GIFs are made to loop endlessly, which is part of their novelty; you can share videos on Facebook, but if you want your content to continuously replay on your post you will have to turn to tools like Flash, which isn’t quick or easy.
Twitter doesn't allow animated GIFs either -- which is why I was surprised that the brand-new Vine – Make a Scene app for iOS allows users to create six-second video loops and post them on Twitter. In fact, Vine is OWNED by Twitter. Yes, Twitter: the "no-API-for-you" social medium known for its resistance to change. Yes, them.
Like an animated GIF, Vine can loop endlessly without needing to replay. Unlike an animated GIF, Vine allows for longer loops of content: Six seconds' worth, enough to be whole new way to share video content -- as superfast tutorial, as the video version of a brilliantly brief 140-character tweet, as a shoutout to your followers, as a way to show breaking news, or just simply as awesome video clips. The Vine video shows up in embedded tweets, too. Behold:
Quinoa, roasted vegetable, mahi mahi dinner. Trying out the new vine video service. vine.co/v/b5pvj1w5zpP
Testing out Vine by making a quick vinyl recording tutorial video vine.co/v/b5tQVvi1HeD
So, go, Twitter: Not only did you swoop in and allow content that Facebook doesn’t -- you've also thrown a challenge in Tumblr’s direction by allowing longer video than your typical animated GIF. As the ever-expanding social media world shows us, users are always looking for new experiences … and so are advertisers.
This partnership could be a step in the right direction for the Twitterverse and marketers alike. At the very least, a new idea on an established platform gives the Twitter faithful like me the hope that we won’t be left in the social media dust.
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