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Jenna Em Headshot

What I think of Vine iPhone App!

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I recently heard how the new Vine app was taking the Social Media world by storm. It's an iPhone app that allows you to shoot a 6 second looping video and upload it to Twitter, Facebook and the Vine network. (Facebook has blocked the app, I've heard, but Vine did upload to my timeline.) At first the idea of making a mini movie didn't sound novel to me, but I still knew that I wanted to check it out!

It took me several attempts to download the Vine app, but finally there was the emerald green icon with the white cursive "V" on my iPhone desktop. I registered a Vine account using my Twitter profile (you can also register using e-mail), and I was ready to go! (The app also works on iPad.)

The first thing I did after registering an account with Vine, was learn how to use it! To use the video app, you touch anywhere on the screen and it records. Remove your finger, the recording stops. This allows the user to film multiple "scenes" with Vine, or opt for one seamless video (if you don't remove your finger from the screen). There are no zoom in or zoom out functions on the Vine app.

Next, I checked out what other users had created using Vine. There was a lot of stop motion videos (teddy bears moving across a bed); hand-drawn animation video shorts, including "flip-book" type animations; time-lapse videos (a rose growing); how to videos (how to bake brownies, a soufflé, etc); before and after videos (showing the before and after of clearing snow off of a car), and videos that showed a sequence of events (dog sees ball, ball chases ball, dog brings back ball).

Ever the app junky, I set out to try Vine. My first movie was very simple, comprised of only 2 scenes of my computer screen--and me narrating in the background. With enthusiasm I completed my video, only to find that the app froze and would not progress to the next step of uploading it. Sadly enough, if the app freezes, then the completed video is lost. This happened several times, but I persevered and refilmed my Vine video.

Finally, my video uploaded and I was given the choices to share to Facebook, Twitter, Vine or all--and put a brief message to accompany my clip. I was surprised by how quickly the video loaded to all 3 networks, as I had heard that it had been taking 30 minutes to upload to Twitter. My video appeared immediately on all fronts.

Pleased to have my first movie on the Vine, I embarked on my second video clip. I encountered the same issues as previously mentioned: my movie would not upload and I had to refilm it about 6 times. Finally my video uploaded--it was a simple video of me flipping through kids' book titles--and the app would not allow me to add any text or tags to the clip. So I sent out the video through the Vine, an unlabelled, unsearchable video clip in a huge "Vineyard".

Despite some of the technical difficulties I've mentioned with Vine, (and the recent issue with porn appearing on Vine's home page as an "Editor's Choice), I found the app addictive and offering more potential than it may seem at first. Yes, some may argue that Vine is a dumbed down version of video as we've know it for eons, but I view Vine as a kind of game. The rules to Vine are to complete a video in 6 seconds exactly, but to create a storyline that is persuasive enough to get others to respond to it via Social Media. Whether that response be a comment, a "happy face" (akin to a Facebook like), a "follow" to the user account, or a share via Facebook--or retweet on Twitter--that is the kind of response I am talking about.

This is where all the advertising social media types will get excited and put their brands up on the Vine! After all, a 6-second clip for Coca Cola showing someone thirsty, and then refreshed with a Coke, is very impactual, and a perfect candidate for this media. Same if McDonald's were to put up a video at lunchtime, showing a hungry dude knocking back a Big Mac burger. Hey, give me the advertising dollars and I'll even make your brand a 6-second Vine video!

All joking aside, this kind of creative challenge with a 6-second canvas isn't easy, and it's definitely not an app for the uninspired. To create a persuasive storyline in such a small timescale requires thought and planning. If you're skilled, you can tell a multi-episodic tale in those few seconds and become a mini cinematographer (by multi-episodic, I mean you can tell the story of Lord of the Rings trilogy in 6 seconds)! Vine is a powerful tool and a slice of life; encompassing thought, emotion and mood--when used to its full potential.

What do you think of Vine? Have you tried it? Follow Jenna Em on Vine via SnyMed!