When the looping video network Vine was launched in 2012, there was mixed reaction to its GIF-like six second videos. Did we really need a stunted video platform?
There are signs that Vine has started to mature nicely. An announcement last week of big changes to the online video sharing site and app offers mini-video producers extra musicality and sharper editing ability.
New ‘Featured Tracks’ gives Vine makers samples from popular pop songs to use as soundtracks, and ‘Snap to the Beat’ trims their clips to make them loop flawlessly. Sadly the tools will only be available for now to iPhone app users, but a ‘tap-identify’ button to name songs playing on any Vine will be available on both Android and iPhone.
Audience figures for Vine are showing strong growth with the number of people watching in-app and online doubling from 100 million to 200 million since August 2014.
How Coub You Do This?
Vine’s move may have been prompted by strong competition emerging in the form of Coubs. In September 2014 the US tech site VentureBeat lauded the emergence of GIF/Vine crossover platform Coub in eastern Europe. Behind the site are Russian entrepreneurs who included the ability to create clips with full-length songs attached.
VentureBeat reported that the format creators expected to partner with media companies whose music, films or TV shows could gain exposure through viral video growth or organic sharing. Given that online views had grown from eight to 50 million in the space of a year, mostly on the back of an eastern European audience, it is a good bet that Vine executives developed their own partnership approach with that in mind, and possibly to stop the Coub from cutting into their audience.
Check out the Coub website. Videos can be up to 10 seconds long, include Youtube clips, and can accommodate up to 10 video sources along with an audio track. For access to other marketplaces and to gain social audience the Coub is a welcome addition for anyone planning a viral video strategy.
News Wall Rocks
Channel 4 News has also cashed in on the GIF-looped video trend with the 4NewsWall site. Daily stories are represented by animated tiles with text and clicking on them brings up short bite-size summaries. By targeting a younger audience it may succeed in giving the news more inter-generational appeal.