Can Vine Gain the Attention of the Masses?

I’ve covered the app before within the Two Rising Forms of Consuming Content article, but I never went into great detail as to my thoughts on it. The app is Vine and instead of necessarily breaking down what it is, I’m going to give my thoughts on it and where I see it going.

As a short intro, though, Vine is a social platform which combines quick consumption of the Instagram-like feed, but adds a new element by offering moving images, video; six seconds of it to be exact. Using HTML5 video capabilities, the video is compatible across essentially all platforms and brings a smooth experience few other video-oriented apps offer.

From unique time-lapses to short clips of individual’s cats being, well, cats, it’s quite obvious it’s gained a fair amount of traction. But, the question I’ve been asking myself since signing up for it and since I first heard of Twitter picking it up is “will it catch on?”

Almost every app starts with a humble beginning, slowly gaining traction until one defining moment where it gains the affection of the masses or will forever be a novelty, sitting lonely in the App Store(s).

The Users

From what I’ve seen on Vine, up until just recently, almost all of the users were either people within the tech scene, the family and friends of those within the tech scene, or brands/organizations looking to utilize the platform. Just now am beginning to notice those I would usually find on Instagram and the like making a jump over to it. At first their enthusiasm is quite immense towards Vine and the new opportunity it presents to share their life six seconds at a time, but after a few posts the novelty seems to wear off.

It could be the lack of community, which most will end up comparing to Instagram’s, but I also feel it’s just the idea of it which may not catch on. Video is wonderful for a great deal of things, but when it comes to sharing moments I feel sometimes a still image can do much more than a video clip. Then again, as a photographer I am rather biased.

Then again, I feel many people will be drawn to it as by offering sound and moving images, the moments they capture will become more intimate. In fact, I’d be willing to say as time goes on, what people focus on sharing will vary greatly. Instead of the ever-ubiquitous food shot which plagues Instagram, I feel the idea of Vine will lead people to share more significant moments, which translate better with video.

I may be wrong, as I’ve certainly been before, but ultimately it’s up to society as unusual and borderline cliché as it may sound. Vine possesses the potential to become the next Instagram without doubt, but how the users interact with it is what will define the moment.

The Potential

To add more value to the experience, I feel there is much which can be done to the experience. The app is solid in every regard: the features the average consumers are looking for are already implemented, and everything is in place for it to rise to the top. However, I’ll be adding a wish-list of future features to come.

The first is the ability to easily archive the video. One of my biggest fears with the ever-changing social networks is how much information and content will be lost. Sure, with third-parties utilizing APIs and such you can create tools to do so, but being able to hook up your Vine account to your Dropbox or Google Drive would be wonderful. Climber, an App.net-based client based around the same premise of Vine utilizes the 10GB of storage paid users of App.net are given to store the clips and such archiving is vital in my opinion.

Another key to improving the experience is allowing for more versatility in creating your six second clips. I despise the fact you’re unable to take a moment of video and save it for later use. Right now you need to keep within the same “post” to take footage and while it may be all fine-and-dandy for sharing certain events, the ability to create “drafts” or something along those lines would make the experience much more useful in my opinion. Along with that would be the capability to import footage from the camera app, but doing so may greatly affect the intuitiveness of the application so leaving this out wouldn’t be a high annoyance.

Other than the two mentioned above, I’m not quite sure where else improvements could be made to truly make the experience shine. If there is anything you can think of, I’d love to hear it, as the more minds at work, the better.

Summary

Right now there is an incredible base laid down with Vine and the slowly growing user base gave the team some time to get feedback from those who are most critical of the UX. With the platform in place there is a great deal of potential; even more so with the Twitter team overseeing it now.

Although Vine isn’t something I see myself using everyday, I see it catching on quite soon with the masses. One of the greatest uses I’ve seen so far is for crowd-sourced journalism. Just as Instagram brought citizen-journalism to its peak, Vine will allow for the same paradigm to arise, but this time with video, which is even more golden when observing situations.

I’d love to hear your input on Vine. If you’re a brave soul, leave your username in your comment and I, along with others will follow you. A disclaimer, though: If you post nothing more than your feet, video of another video, or cats, the follow will quickly reverse into an unfollow. Social etiquette, people.

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