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Twitter's Vine App Has Potential Despite Porn Problems

Shea Huffman |
February 1, 2013 | 8:11 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Vine is Twitter's new app for creating and sharing short six-second video clips. (Image courtesy of Esther Vargas via Creative Commons)
Vine is Twitter's new app for creating and sharing short six-second video clips. (Image courtesy of Esther Vargas via Creative Commons)
Continuing to feed our ever-shrinking attention spans, Vine, Twitter’s new iOS app for sharing six-second looping video clips, is making a stir on the web thanks to a fairly successful launch last weekend.  While the service has run into a few hiccups since its release, it nevertheless takes advantage of some popular trends that give it potential, or will at least ensure Vine doesn’t fade into obscurity.

The biggest advantage Vine has is the media giant Twitter’s already well-established user base of around 170 million active accounts.  As a writer at Yahoo News pointed out: “In other words, she’s pretty cool and she’s the boss’s daughter. No wonder she’s the debutante of the season.”

The reception has been mostly positive, though, with some describing Vine as the “Instagram of video” in its ability to make short videos easy to shoot and post.  And if the rise of the animated GIF on sites like Tumblr is any indication of web trends, then Vine may be playing right into the internet’s fixation with easy-to-consume visual content.

The app is very simple: the user picks a subject, touches the screen to start recording, stops touching to pause recording, and repeats the process with new subjects until they have six seconds of footage.  Then the video is posted to Twitter or Facebook.

Most of the early posts have been fairly mundane, with people testing out Vine on their pets and children, or recording parts of their daily commute.  Some pretty creative posts have popped up as well, though, with some simple experiments in artsy stop-motion clips, or snappy skits akin to the popular web series 5 Second Films.

One type of post that seems like a particularly smart use for Vine are short tutorials for recipes or other tasks.

A Chatroulette-esque site that randomly and continuously plays the newest Vines has even appeared, called Vinepeek.com, providing an oddly compelling view into exactly how people are using the app.

A few problems have hounded Vine, however, most notably the appearance of porn on the app that made headlines recently.  The biggest concern this presents is the possible removal of Vine from Apple’s App Store, which has a strict no-adult content rule.  But considering that the app is published by social media giant Twitter, and that other apps like Instagram have faced similar porn scandals nscathed, Vine’s efforts to moderate its content will probably be enough to keep it on the market.   Plus, the porn issue will likely be irrelevant once the Android version of Vine launches soon.

You can reach Staff Reporter Shea Huffman here or follow him on Twitter.



 

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