Last month, the popular social media site Twitter introduced a new online video application known as “Vine.” Twitter online videos are limited in time, just as tweets are limited to 140 characters or less. The online videos shared on Twitter’s Vine application must be no longer than six seconds long. Twitter reportedly chose the six-second limit because that is the average times it takes for a person to read 140 characters.
It is too soon to tell exactly how Vine may change the online video market. However, some experts believe that the change may be significant. While other companies have attempted similar apps in the past, Twitter has an advantage because it already has 200 million active users each month, and more than 60% of them access Twitter via their mobiles devices.
Vine is not without limitations in its early debut, though. Currently, it is only available on the Apple iOS, and Apple recently said that it is trying to hide the app in its store because of reported pornography on Vine over the first weekend that the app was launched. Twitter representatives have said that steps have been taken to avoid the porn problem, but it is too early to tell whether those steps will be effective over the long term.
Some companies have already started to use Vine for marketing. Immediately after Vine’s launch on Friday January 25, 2013, companies such as the Gap and Urban Outfitters released online marketing videos via Vine. The potential audience and short video time may provide interesting opportunities for online business videos in the months to come. Our Fairfax video producers will be watching Vine closely during 2013.