During this Sunday’s VMAs broadcast, MTV’s official Vine account outshone the channel’s performance on other social networks, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. While much of the conversation surrounding the annual award show happened on Twitter, it was Vine that had the most interactions among all social media, with the top vine video amassing nearly 11 million plays.
What Brands Should Do
Vine’s endlessly looping, six-second-long format made it a perfect platform to disseminate and consume the viral moments of media events in bite-sized portions in real time, something that most brands should leverage into their social media efforts. Essentially gifs with sound, Vine offers the perfect format for brands to create short-form viral content to engage their fans with. Plus, its deep integration with Twitter no doubt helps to expand its reach as well, as Vine videos are natively embedded in tweets.
Header image taken from MTV’s Vine Account Page
In Forbes’s detailed profile on Snapchat celebrity Shaun McBride, one important phenomenon almost slips through: with Vine “sort of plateauing” after a year and a half, video creators and brands are now looking to a matured Snapchat for new opportunities. No longer just an ephemeral picture sharing app, Snapchat has caught considerable attention from marketers with its new Snapchat Stories feature that allows the messages, be it video or pictures, to stay on for 24 hours. Several big stars on Vine have reportedly been branching out to Snapchat, looking to catch on the next trend to stay relevant. Overall, it is clear to see that the intimate, personal appeal of messaging apps gives them a crucial edge over the old-fashioned social media platforms. And staying ahead of trend seems to be the moral of the story here.
Quit, an anti-smoking charity, has released a series of Vines to relay the age-old message of smoking cessation. Each video starts “Before the video starts again, another smoker will die” as a smoker dies every 6 seconds. It’s a novel, albeit grim way of marrying medium and message. Additionally, the three videos have separate sign-offs to hit their distinct targets – the uncommitted youth, the invincible Millennial and the resigned older smoker. On Gen Z week, we need to recognize Vine as a new medium to deliver succinct messaging that cuts through the clutter in today’s fully mediated world.
In case the messaging space wasn’t saturated already, Vine has now thrown it’s proverbial hat into the ring with its latest update that provides for communication beyond video comments. Vine says this update is the most significant improvement it’s made since its launch, and the new messaging system is called Vine Messages. They can be sent to anyone – not just existing Vine members – and consist of Vines sent via the platform, SMS, or email. They’re one-on-one messages, but they can be sent to anybody as traditional text messages or special Vines. Vine is also rolling out a feature to import video from the camera’s roll, largely expanding the type of content users can upload and send out. For the continually expanding messaging app space, it’s another big name crowding out some of the more niche platforms.
Facebook is ready to bring auto-playing videos to your mobile news feed in a bid to make videos a more attractive option for users. Videos will auto play without sound while in the context of the feed, but a simple tap will expand the video to full screen and unmute the audio. This a proposed solution to the problem that Facebook’s video platform is ineffective from the mobile creation environment all the way to playback, and could bring far more videos to your news feed in the near future. If that happens, that could also mean video ads blending into the news feed in the same way. Video ads are a potentially lucrative source of revenue for Facebook, with estimates placing the cost of distributing a 15 second video for one day on the platform between $1 million and $2.4 million.
Twitter’s feed has been living in the past in regard to visual content for years, but now it integrates previews of photos and Vines to bring something other than text and links to its primary means of presenting content. No longer will users have to click through blind links to see photos on the service. Certainly, this is a minor update that should have taken place long ago, but its effects could be felt in a big way as Twitter grows and begins to create a service closer in look and feel to more familiar social media formats.
Although many marketers have been doing creative work with Vine, Airbnb is taking it to the next level: making the first ever movie created with the app. The campaign – called “Hollywood and Vines” – brings consumers together through contributed 6-second clips that will be edited into a short film about traveling and adventure. From August 22 through August 25, Airbnb will deliver “shot instructions” via Twitter at @airbnb. Participants pick a shot, shoot a Vine, and shair via #airbnbhv. The best Vines will be shown on the Sundance channel, and the users whose Vines appear in the film will get a $100 credit for an Airbnb stay. It’s a big step forward for the social medium and socially focused campaigns; it’s worth keeping an eye on.
For a great example of a brand using Vine, take a look at Lowes. The hardware company has been posting “life hacks” or six second instructionals to improve your home. Examples include drilling holes in your trash can to prevent trash bags from getting stuck among others. Unlike some brands which will port over existing content to Vine or Instagram Video, Lowes understands that distinct channels demand original content tailored to the medium.
As part of its ‘Mini’s Not Normal’ campaign, the automotive company put 48,000 LED lights onto one of its signature cars to broadcast your Tweets and Vines. It’s driving around London until August 19th, and customers can use the hashtag #MINIartbeat – or the Mini’s Facebook app – to get posts to appear on the car. What’s more, Mini will send a clip of the user’s post on the car as a souvenir. Though it’s reminiscent of Mercedes’ ‘invisible car’ promotion from last year, it adds the important element of conversation and social engagement to the bright mobile experience.
There’s a third hat in the video app ring: YouTube cofounders Chat Hurley and Steve Chen announced MixBit, an iPhone app that lets you record, edit, share, and mix video clips from other users to create your own movies. The videos are designed to be recorded and viewed horizontally, and it operates just like Vine and Instagram – tap-to-record and release to finish. Clips can be as long as 16 seconds, and finished can include as many as 256 clips in a single video, meaning that videos can last more than an hour. There are no filters, but you can rearrange, cut, and further edit clips before publishing. With the flexibility to post videos that are far more long-form than either Vine or Instagram allow, MixBit could be a potent new video capturing and editing app – and with YouTube’s powerful backing, it’s not too far fetched to guess that it will be an important third party in the Instagram and Vine-dominated world.