Twitter is "the internet's SMS." Instagram is the Twitter of pictures. Some app somewhere is prophesied to be "the Instagram of Video." I've used epic words for social media's 'cinemaminigram' before, because it's apparently that big of a deal -- or it may just be YouTube. Then again, if Instagram is Twitter for photos, but Facebook nabbed Instagram -- all while 'Instagram for Video' is still out there -- what's a Twitter to do? The next best thing, or better: Twitter has just dropped Vine for iOS. It's a lot like Instagram, but for 6 second looping videos. Given that Twitter already is, well, the Instagram of words, this app could be the 'IoV.' Is this saga at the beginning of its end?
In terms of branding models, Twitter has (basically) done a Facebook/Instagram with Vine -- as in, acquired a novelty startup and its flagship app, but allowed that app to retain its discreet identity as separate-though-aligned with its parent. The parent, of course, gets the most fluid integration with that app compared to other social media platforms. Former Product VP of Twitter Jason Goldman had this to tweet of such a move:
Instead of official/promo launch videos for Vine -- because a conventional video about a novelty social video app might open a black hole -- here's The Verge with a wee demonstration and in-hand first impressions. You can also see the actual Vineo (?) that Sam creates here (if anyone can figure out how to embed these things easily, let us know below or simply do so in the comments and I can update):
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're quirky, and we think that's part of what makes them so special.
We're also happy to share the news that Vine has been acquired by Twitter. Our companies share similar values and goals; like Twitter, we want to make it easier for people to come together to share and discover what's happening in the world. We also believe constraint inspires creativity, whether it's through a 140-character Tweet or a six-second video.
Starting today, Vine is available for free, worldwide, on the iPhone and iPod touch.
I Get it. But Again, Why Should I Care as a Filmmaker?
Social media trends affect us as internet personas -- though some do more than others, especially depending on which tide pools we choose to become involved with. Vine will be no more an influence on filmmaking than any of the other apps that put video-ish power in the hands of the masses. As an even clearer example: think how Instagram has (read: hasn't) affected professional photography. But with that said, these are tools for us to reach those masses in their own way -- and being visual (and in motion, and with sound) as they are, we as visual creators may have an edge over the sort of, say, 'Vineos' we have to offer those masses.
Vine isn't going to be a venue for making-of content of any legitimate length, but behind the scenes material is another thing altogether -- who's to say you wouldn't be able to raise some added interest in a project by Vine-ing all manner of on-set or behind-the-camera clips? It doesn't have to be neat, tidy, or even narrated or given context to be interesting to watch. Especially if you can get your whole crew doing it (in between the times they're focused and working hard, of course) and tweeting it with a common hashtag -- this could be an interesting way to offer micro-updates of shooting progress, or at least some intrigue surrounding a project.
Given the lightweight nature of these media, it's also very quick and low-effort to provide more updates more often -- which is another good thing for both a curious audience's hungers and their attention spans more regularly directed at you (with luck, consistency, and dedication). Most of your skills as a filmmaker won't (and simply can't) apply here, but that doesn't mean basic ones, such as your sense of timing or composition, can't benefit how you use something like Vine. And how you use something like Vine can in turn conceivably benefit a project's profile or buzz-worthiness too!
The reason that it may be Vine in particular is because the app has a good chance of achieving that long foreseen (and long fore-sought, in internet-time) status as the 'Video Instagram' offering that actually sticks -- with the network effect in full swing, your audience is the largest by default -- and that makes the time you spend providing micro-media the most worthwhile in this type of venue.
[via The Verge]