Twitter launches Vine video sharing service

Twitter has launched Vine- which lets users embed six second videos within their tweets.The service was used first by Twitter boss Dick Costolo, who posted a clip of himself making steak tartare.

Twitter bought out developer Vine Labs, a start-up based in New York, in October last year.

The program is as yet only available as a stand-alone app in the Apple App Store – so it’s not yet on other platforms.

Videos posted on Vine are on an infinite loop – in a manner similar to animated gifs, a scaled down image format which has been popular since the very early days of the internet as it is small in file size and definition- which is accordingly quick to download and view.

“Like Tweets, the brevity of videos on Vine inspires creativity,” wrote Michael Sippey, Twitter’s vice president of product.

Dom Hofmann, co-founder of Vine, said the two companies shared “similar values and goals”.

“Posts on Vine are about abbreviation — the shortened form of something larger.  They’re little windows into the people, settings, ideas and objects that make up your life.”

They will also be able to follow other Vine users and search for clips from people they know.

The acquisition could prove to be a shrewd move as video will be the next new front in the battle to add more functionality to online marketing messages on websites and social media.

In a way it is surprising that videos- of whatever size and sort has taken this long to be integrated into social media.

Two potential issues however are that six seconds is too short for getting across useful information and also their censorship of debatable material.

I’m not convinced that the steak tartare video was the best example they could have used, as six seconds is too short to give enough information on how to cook anything.

Twitter needs to ensure it can prevent offensive videos from being widely shared and so far I haven’t found any evidence that Vine will do that.

All in all Vine is another example that video marketing is the future.