Vine, the increasingly popular video-sharing site that allows users to post and share six-second video clips that loop, celebrates its first birthday today. So do the power users who have found a way to make good money creating content through the app.
Vine was founded by Dom Hoffman, Rus Yusupov and Colin Kroll in June of 2012. The application, which was acquired by Twitter in October of 2012, just a few months after it was launched, began as an iOS-only app, but is now available on Android, HTML5, Windows Phone and even desktop platforms. It is currently the most popular video-sharing app on the web. By catering to the short attention span and the craving for content indicative of the Millenial generation, Vine has created a platform for communication, creativity and even commercialism.
The application encourages everyday people to share videos, and is very popular among non-celebrities, but it is rapidly being embraced by comedians and media specialists as an entrepreneurial and creative tool. The six-second videos are being used by new media content creators, photographers and videographers to generate thousands of dollars in advertising revenue as the medium comes to the attention of bigger corporations.
The brevity of Vine video clips requires a keen creative mind to pack information into the short sequence, and it also encourages users to scan multiple clips in a single session. Of course, there are limits to what one can do in the space of six-seconds, but even a casual review of the app will demonstrate that there is a real potential for communication through the platform. There is also a good chance that a popular Vine will go viral, because it is intrinsically linked to Twitter, can be easily posted on Facebook and aggregated on YouTube, and only requires a minimal time commitment from a user. Vine is able to leverage the existing social media landscape for its own growth and penetration, which is an incredible advantage in the new media business model.
The application has been used by President Obama (to congratulate the Web-sensation Batkid), Snoop Dogg (to demonstrate various acts of herb smoking) and countless media personalities from Jimmy Fallon to Wiz Khalifa. It is also being used for viral marketing campaigns by Fortune 500 companies and hip cable networks like Comedy Central. Unlike YouTube there are no trailer ads and no real risk of wasting time, at least not more than six seconds of time.
Vine has managed, by its first birthday no less, to spawn an entirely new branch of social media marketing with an attendant satellite economy. Besides the video creators and on-screen talent who are finding ways to capitalize through the app, there are startups like GrapeStory who connect corporate brands with Vine creators for advertising campaigns.
With over 40 million registered users already, it is a very happy birthday that Vine celebrates today. The potential market for the app is still vast, and there is always the possibility that it will expand its offerings beyond the current six-second window, perhaps with a paid subscription model for premium content creators.
By Mark Clarke