Vine: say it in 6 seconds!

29 Jan

End of last week a new video service called “Vine” was launched, adding a new player to the already quite crowded world of social networks. In a few days this new service has created quite a hype. It was selected “Editors Choice” by the iTunes App Store and has reached the Top 10 of the download charts. The main reason for this success is the fact that Vine is a new service from Twitter which has been heavily promoted to the Twitter user base (approx. 500 million).

So what is Vine all about?

Essentially Vine is an app (so far only available for iOS) that allows you to record 6-second videos with your iPhone, iPod or iPad and then share them through Twitter or Facebook. A bit like Instagram but for videos.

Screenshot of the new video service Vine

Screenshot of the new video service Vine

Is Vine an interesting marketing tool?

First of all I’m curious to see how popular Vine will be after the initial hype. Will consumers adopt the new video format like they adopted the 140 character messages? I’m not a prophet but looking at the tremendous success of photo-sharing apps like Instagram and Streamzoo a video sharing app seems like a logical next step. In addition Vine can built on Twitter’s huge user base. What I’m not so sure about is the 6-second format. Will 6-second clips become the new standard for short video messages? I haven’t understood their underlying business model yet – but I assume Vine will rely on business customers to make money.

Generally speaking video clips are a well established and highly successful tool for marketing – they are heavily used from traditional TV spots to online video ads and YouTube channels. And reaching a well targeted audience in a social network with video messages is an interesting thing. In addition if you do well your spot might go viral. But how much can you say in 6 seconds? A classical elevator pitch takes 30 seconds to 2 minutes, a traditional TV spots starts with at least 15 seconds. I’m a bit skeptical but also curious how creatives worldwide will respond to this challenge. What can you do with this new format and how can you manage to bring your message home in such a short timeframe? I think we will see a number of test spots in the coming days and weeks. And then we will still have to measure how consumers will respond to these short clips.


At the moment Vine is still in an experimental phase – users, agencies and brands are still discovering this service and play around with it. Examples I have seen – even credentials from big agencies – still look a bit disappointing. I’m sure this will change over time and it is too early to determine how successful Vine will be.

Unless you manage a very innovative brand and look for a chance to position yourself as a trend setter I would recommend you to wait a while before you invest in a Vine-campaign. Prerequisite in any case is a solid Follower-base on Twitter or Facebook to actually reach someone and have the chance to go viral. So do your homework first and then tell your story. But remember: say it in 6 seconds!


Author: Christoph Grass



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