Vine is essentially Instagram, but with video. It sounds simple, but the results are astounding. Think of Vine less as short videos and more as living snapshots.
Even better, Twitter's new tool is exceptionally easy to use. You hold your finger on your phone's screen to record a scene up to six seconds long. To stop recording, lift your finger. To resume recording, press the screen again.
Whereas the tweet gave short blurts of written information to the world, and Instagram gave us pictures, Vine looks to break the video barrier by allowing anyone to shoot, edit, and share video directly from their phones. It's the sort of thing that would have been unimaginable just five years ago during the age of Motorola Razrs. And already, it's amazing what people have been able to come up with. Ex-Beatle Paul McCartney has gotten in on the action, asking fans to guess a song, as have have the Brooklyn Nets, who show off with some warmup footage.
Can you name this song...? vine.co/v/bJjdTLBnwx1— Paul McCartney (@PaulMcCartney) January 29, 2013
Warming up, the Brooklyn way. vine.co/v/bJg1axXlLgL— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) January 29, 2013
And check out Pitchforkfounder Ryan Schrieber's video of up-and-coming Danish punk band Iceage. It legitimately gives you a sense of what the show was like. You could, in all practicality, break bands this way.
Vine might not be for everyone. But people said the same thing about Twitter when it first started, and its 140-character dispatches clearly revolutionized the way we communicate online. Vine will do the same.
For now, what makes Vine great might also be what is hindering its initial spread into the mainstream: While the McCartneys of the world are doing really creative and compelling things, most people are using Vine in a rather simplistic fashion. Take the first video I ever made on it, for instance: Hand motions on a loop made while watching It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Yes, Republicans can impeach President Obama
- Why Texas' abortion rates aren't falling as quickly as everyone expected
- Why all drugs should be legal. (Yes, even heroin.)
- What religious traditionalists can teach us about sex
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- The weird obsession that's ruining the GOP
- 10 things you need to know today: July 29, 2014
- How to trim $500 from your monthly spending
- 7 ideas from ancient thinkers that will improve your modern life
- The mystery behind China's aggressive push into space
Subscribe to the Week