Twitter’s new Vine app transforms ordinary posts into video sound bytes

Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, February 1, 2013

Last week Twitter rolled out a new feature – Vine – which allows people to capture and share short (like under 5 seconds) looping videos with their Twitter followers.

According to the official Vine blog page, “posts on Vine are about abbreviation — the shortened form of something larger. They’re little windows into the people, settings, ideas and objects that make up your life. They’re quirky, and we think that’s part of what makes them so special.”

So how do you use this new Twitter function? First, you need to download the free application on your device. Then, you create a Vine account, which can be linked to your existing Twitter account. The first time you log in to the program, the homepage will allow you to link both your current location and your Twitter followers to your Vine account; otherwise you can do that in the future by clicking on the smiley face in the upper left-hand corner and then choosing profile -> settings. The smiley face opens up the menu of options you have, from updating your personal profile, searching for other videos (Explore) or seeing what you’ve already posted on Vine (Activity).

To shoot a video, click on the camera button in the upper-left hand corner of the app. The first time you use it, it will give you a step-by-step tutorial. Essentially you aim the camera in your device on what you want to film, press on the screen (while moving it to film what you want it to capture), and wait for it to finish recording. Once that happens, you can customize the accompanying Tweet and what networks you would like to post the video on (you can also link your Facebook account). You can read more information about how to use the app on the Vine blog’s help page.

The concept is a cool one, and its intuitive nature makes it easy to use. Because it is so new, however, there are a few drawbacks. The initial app is only available to Apple customers (from the Apple app store), so people with Android or Blackberry phones cannot use the program. Unlike Twitter, Vine posts cannot be restricted to your own personal accounts – meaning that they will show up in every Vine user worldwide’s news feed whether you want it to or not. And while the number of users is growing exponentially on a daily basis, there are still only a limited number of people using the program now.

If you like posting homemade videos and making GIFs, however, and have an Apple device I would definitely recommend installing it ASAP!

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