Twitter’s Vine: The Power of ‘Short’


Vine, like Twitter itself, is very unique among other mobile video apps that it sets a 6 seconds limit. Twitter also has 140 characters limit. Setting up a limit gives Vine some very powerful advantages to be the killer app of its category:

1. Easier to contribute.
Not everyone can direct and shoot a good 6 minutes YouTube clip, but 6 seconds? Everyone can think of something cool or fun. And even if it’s not that awesome? No big deal! 6 seconds pass very quickly. This means there will be a lot of contents, good or bad, get uploaded. The ‘quantity’ part of the equation should never be a problem.

2. ‘Bite-size’ consumption 
Since it’s short, like Twitter, people can watch one Vine video or two when they only have very short pieces of time. 6 seconds are about the same time people read a tweet, so viewing Vine will be very comfortable for them, for Twitter users, it’s already part of their time management pattern.

3. Robustness
Short video means smaller file size and smoother streaming, means most of the time it will work whether user has a good Internet connection or not. Also smaller video is less demanding on smartphone hardware. Vine videos on iPhone5 won’t be too much if any better than on some free Android phones.

4. Twitter’s current subscriber base
Most video sharing app fails to succeed simply because they don’t have a big subscriber base, thus initially not enough content s to grow or even maintain their users. Vine already has Twitter users and we’ve all seen a lot of videos on day one.

5. Simple and focused UI design
This one is not very obvious, but using Vine feels effortless. UI gets out of the way, no skeuomorphism textures to distract your attention with, no 100 ads pop up to screw your flow of enjoyments(this might change over time though), just you and the video you’re watching, oh and your friends to social with. A simple UI won’t scare people away, they enable and empower people to use the app, to enjoy the content.

Having said all these, I believe Vine definitely has the potential to be the killer mobile video app, or at least the killer mobile short video app.


2 thoughts on “Twitter’s Vine: The Power of ‘Short’

  1. I think you missed on advantage of short. It makes it more palatable to have auto play. Since each video is smaller bandwidth, the app can just automatically start playing as you scroll down. That really reinforces the consumption pattern of casual browsing.

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