Vine.co is a new 6-second stop-animation style mobile video sharing ‘social network’ from Twitter. It’s been on the street for about a week now. Of course there are people claiming is stinks, claiming it will replace Facebook (whaaaa?), claiming it has no purpose (fun is a purpose), or will quickly turn into 6-second Chatroulette (already has). There has been a sissy fight between Twitter and Facebook (as usual) that resulted in Vine videos and links to be rejected by Facebook, despite what appeared to be proper API protocol. Welcome to social media!
So Vine is literally dozens of hours old in the wild. Naturally life or death decisions need to be made RIGHT NOW on the future viability of the platform and how we can all squeeze cash from it. That was sarcasm by the way. In reality, it’s a brand new platform by a powerhouse of social media (Twitter) that still has the cord attached from being birthed. Give it time people…
With that said, like all things digital and social, money needs to be made. Hopefully a company, especially as large as Twitter, would release a product without a roadmap and revenue stream. Stockholders and such frown upon existence without them. (Note: When Twitter was first released and for years after, there was no idea of how to earn money let alone cover costs and profit outside of investment money.)
As with all things in digital media that are new and shiny, I follow the conversations, occasionally lifting my head from within the trenches of actually doing the work to write my own thoughts and observations.
Why is it that Twitter seems to put out products without a clear revenue path? I’m not saying they won’t make money from it. I think they will, I just don’t know how (if I did I might be working AT Twitter instead of writing about them.) What the more pressing issue for some is how THEY will make money with this new shiny hours old platform.
A LinkedIn status by a friend Simon Salt resulted in a comment of my own on the purpose and use of Vine. Responding to the idea that maybe Vine isn’t supposed to be for marketers or brands, but rather just for fun. Simon’s point of “unfortunately someone has to pay the bills to keep the lights on for these apps, so at some point brands and others have to find a use for it” was very valid. My response in LinkedIn was:
I could see it [Vine.co] used for contests. Traditional UGC video entries don’t do that well (low number of entries) but 6-seconds on a phone almost anyone could do. I could (hopefully) see some unique introductions, outreach or resumes done with it. I could see transmedia pieces put together with it. I could see Pinterest-like boards with all of a user’s Vines or a group of Vines (damn, I shouldn’t have said that out loud, it’s a good idea to code). Sadly I also can see pre-roll video ads getting shoved in…
Well. There you go. Some quick off the top of my head tactics that companies and brands could consider with proper research and strategy. I thought of about 140 ways to use the platform to earn viewers, followers, fans, friends, connections, conversions, clicks, (or even a date – hey are there any marriage proposals on Vine yet? It is almost Valentine’s Day!) Of course until we can get STATS on our Vine videos it’s pretty useless to brands that only like to measure and forget to experiment and play. Heck, even Instagram and Pinterest feeder sites have this figured out. Someone get on that, will you, Vine is almost a week old!!
The spinoff feeder sites have already popped up (being a coder does have it’s first-to-market advantages…) Since Vine is a mobile-only platform for creating, publishing and viewing video content, VinePeek.com allows you to have a very simply look at a constant voyeuristic stream of 6-second videos by complete strangers (as opposed to the complete strangers you follow on social networks). I’m sure they will put ads on their site and make some money.
So now you know what a Vine looks like.
PS – Why don’t mobile app companies think ahead to vanity URLs?! There is no reason on Earth that I can’t claim Vine.com/LynetteRadio – the same name as the Twitter account it’s linked to.