They say a photo is worth a thousand words and a video is worth a lot more. By that math, six seconds of video should be worth a whole lot more than 140 characters of text or a Tweet. And that seems to be the point of Vine, an app launched by Twitter today that allows you to add short video clips to your tweets.
The app, which as of now is available only for the iPhone, is really simple to use and works a lot like Instagram. (Many have been calling it the Instagram of video.) Sign in with your Twitter account or via email, hit the video camera button and press down on the viewfinder to record video. Release your finger and the recording stops, so you can easily move to record something else, but you only have six seconds of space (or tape). Watch your video and then share it with others on the service. There are options to then share it on Twitter and Facebook too.
MORE: Take That, Instagram: Twitter Adds Own Photo Filters
The Twitter tie-in is the big one though. When you tweet from Vine it embeds your looped video - or what looks like an animated GIF - right in your tweet. You can see some of the ones we made below. In December, Instagram, now owned by Facebook, stopped allowing its photos to be embedded right in tweets. You now have to click off of Twitter.com to see the photos.
Twitter bought Vine, a video-sharing start-up, last year, and this is the first public release of the service. According to AllThingD's Peter Kafka, the start-up still operates on its own; it is a "Twitter-owned video service" not "Twitter's video service."
"We're also happy to share the news that Vine has been acquired by Twitter. Our companies share similar values and goals; like Twitter, we want to make it easier for people to come together to share and discover what's happening in the world. We also believe constraint inspires creativity, whether it's through an 140-character tweet or a six-second video," Dom Hoffmann, Vine's co-founder and general manager, said on Vine's blog.
What about an Android version? Twitter's VP of product, Michael Sippey, said on the company's blog that "We're working now to bring it to other platforms, so stay tuned for that."
Is Vine the next big app? We saw some bugs in the app, including issues tweeting videos, but as you can tell from our Vines, it didn't stop us from having fun with it. Try it for yourself and let us know.
— Joanna Stern (@JoannaStern) January 24, 2013
Dear timehop Dan one year from now… Did Vine take off or what? vine.co/v/b5wB5OhjP77
— Dan Milano (@DanMilanoABC) January 24, 2013