Saturday, January 25th, 2014
A relative newcomer to the world of social media, Vine is a Twitter app that deals exclusively in short videos.
6 seconds of video, to be exact.
This doesn’t seem like much, but can be powerful when used well.
Where Twitter changed the world by limiting posts to 140 characters, Vine is offering the world a new way to see things – moving images just a few seconds in length.
Vine was popular within moments of being introduced it seemed. It helped that Twitter was behind the launch, but there are a few other reasons it seems to be catching on so quickly.
1. Vine is a lot like Instagram. If you already know how to take pictures, modify them, upload them and follow others through social media, it’s easy to do the same thing with videos.
2. Vine offers artistic license. While there is a lot of artistry in still pictures, there is a tremendous amount of possibility with moving pictures as well, which is essentially what Vine is – a six second moving picture.
3. Vines happen “in the now.” Where you can upload old videos to Facebook and other sources, Vine requires that users make videos and post them immediately in the app itself. You can’t save them for later, so when you watch a Vine, it’s something that is happening right at this moment.
So it’s easy to see where Vine would be popular with artists and photography enthusiasts, but what about your more standard blogger? How do Vines fit into the blog scene?
Easily, it turns out.
1. Demonstrations. Vine is great for a quick demo. Instead of using still pictures to show readers where to click or what to do for the next step in your process, create a Vine instead. Then share the Vines in order through your tutorial and you have a full tutorial complete with moving pictures to help readers along.
2. Pitches. Sometimes a moving picture is worth a few hundred words at least. Get creative in the sort of pitches and pleas you can make with your Vine videos. Ask for auditions, try out new tactics and upload the posts to your Twitter account with the right hashtags to get those pitches out in the world.
3. Sneak peeks. If you’re getting ready to release something new and interesting on your blog, why not do a bit of a sneak peek? Take a series of still pictures and turn them into a six second slideshow. The completed video will give readers a taste of what is to come without giving everything away ahead of time.
4. Sponsored campaigns. Link your progress to various companies and campaigns by using Vine videos to showcase a product or ad before linking it back to the company sponsoring the offer, option or competition.
5. Put in something funny. Everyone likes a bit of humor, so why not interject a bit where it would be appropriate. It only takes a second or six to showcase something hilarious, so find what’s funny and make use of it in your blog posts or on your site.
6. Propaganda. It may be more polite to call this promoting a cause, but it’s all the same thing. Use Vine to make a powerful six second video story of a cause you’re promoting. Use images, videos, facts, captions or a combination to catch people’s attention and draw them into something larger.
7. Make a series. While there are a lot of good things to say about Vine, there are a few drawbacks as well. You can’t edit your videos, you just have to retake them. You can’t clean them up or add soundtracks or voiceovers. But what you can do is use a series of videos over a course of days or hours to tell a complete story or share a complete thought.
8. Post inspiration. Those pictures of large payouts, thin bodies, fast cars and other motivating images are all the more real when we know they aren’t photo-shopped on still images. Use Vine to showcase the real deal and everyone will know that it’s not for show – it’s all real and it’s highly motivational as well.
So you know you want to use Vine on your blog, but the next question is simple – how do I get it there. There are a few different ways to bring Vine videos over to your blog, and the easiest of these don’t stress you out with extra downloads and features. Here are two simple ways to get the job done.
1. Since Vine is a Twitter feature, you’ll need to start on Twitter. Go the tweet that contains the video you want. Then open just that tweet.
Click on the “…More” choice that is listed on the tweet menu and choose “Embed tweet.” The HTML code that you copy is then placed in your blog post’s HTML coding.
The entire tweet will appear in your blog including the video.
You can also make this happen by copying the tweet’s URL and pasting it on the HTML page of your WordPress blog post. This lets you skip a few steps at least.
2. The second option gives you just the Vine video in your blog, but requires a circular path. Start by opening the vine on your desktop computer.
Then right-click on the video to “Save video as.”
Save the video on your computer and then upload it to Youtube the way you’d upload any video.
Finally, with your video uploaded, you can then choose the Youtube “embed video” option to get the HTML coding to use on your blog to include that video.
You know why it’s useful, you know how to use it, and you know how to put it to good use, but what about the actual vines? What makes those videos so fun to create?
It turns out there are lots of way to make terrific videos once you know some fundamentals.
1. Vine can’t be edited. Vine is a simple application when it’s all said and done. To use Vine, you press record in the app itself and then make a video. You can start and stop your video, but you only get six seconds total to record. If you mess up on the third second, you can’t just fix it – you have to record the whole thing again.
This means that a lot of the vine videos are carefully planned, reshot more than a few times and very authentic.
2. Special effects are simple with Vine. Where Instagram has numerous special effects, Vine allows you to do all of the special effects yourself! Fortunately, this is pretty easy.
You might start by shooting through a plastic bottle for a smudged, distant effect. Or try stop frame videos that look antique. You can also pull a piece of black or white paper away from the screen as you start shooting to create a special lighting effect. The possibilities are as endless as your creativity.
3. You’re going to need a steady hand. When making a vine, you only have a few seconds, so it needs to be done right the first time.
Start by leaning your phone on a ledge or putting it on an tripod to keep it night and steady while you make your video, especially if you’re trying some special effects. If you move your hand while trying to film, it’s very possible that you’ll wind up with a glitch in the middle while your phone autofocuses again.
4. Hashtags can be popular. The hashtags that you use with your posts are as powerful as any other hashtags on Twitter. You can use your Vines to join in the movement of other videos on the feed and contribute to the community as well.
Not sure what tags to use? Start by checking out the Explore tag. It will take you to a host of other selections including some of the most popular hashtags out there for Vines right now.
5. Try lights and microphones. You can boost the sound and clarity on your videos by using special lighting or microphones developed for Vine. Or you can get a bright lamp and a set of headphone with a built-in microphone. Either way, your sound and images will be that much clearer in your finished video.
6. Try out some of the real Vine features. While Vine is very simple, there are a few extra features built into the app. For example, you can start and stop a video while you’re watching it if you want to focus on something in particular.
You can also use an auto-record feature to avoid trying to hold down the record button while filming. To do this, you’ll just swipe from left to right under the frame on the gray area and it will handle the full six second recording for you.
7. Vine is a community. As you can probably guess, Vine is a community of young people interested in watching and sharing videos of the world happening around them.
Blogs and companies who are able to use these videos to catch the attention of the community and – even better- actively participate in it, are able to take full advantage of what Vine can offer in terms of marketing and reputation among an increasingly hard-to-reach demographic.
8. Vines are casual. Instagram has become something of an art form for many people, but Vine was designed to be a casual share and remains that way today.
When you create a vine, it’s supposed to be a sample of what’s really happening around you right now or perhaps something clever and interesting. If you’re taking hours to prepare a six second video, you’re overlooking the natural fun that should be coming from the Vine you’re making. This isn’t fine art – it’s pop art and it should be spontaneous and fun most of the time.
9. Stop motion tests creativity. If you’re really looking to let yourself go wild and free, use Vine to make a stop motion movie. Your stop motion movie is only a few seconds long, but it can take fifteen or twenty minutes to make.
Think of this like a flip book. You draw one picture, snap it. Pause the recording, draw the next, and snap it. Continue on until you have all six seconds recorded and posted. In many cases, the stop motion vines are among the most popular due to their burst of imaginativeness.