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Vine is the new Instagram |


Vine is the new Instagram

Shinji Manlangit - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Warhol said that everyone will have their 15 minutes of fame. Vine, the spanking new Twitter-owned video sharing app thinks that six seconds will do just fine. Barely a month since its debut, the app has launched creativity, controversy, and a lot of crap—I mean, craft, to such great heights. Supreme taps into the “Instagram for movies” to see if it’s worth a peek.

There are 700,000 apps on the iPhone app store right now, most of them are utter sh*t, but every now and then an app revolutionizes the way people share. At the core, there are Twitter and Facebook. Last year, Facebook was zuckered into buying Instagram, a mobile-only app that turns boring photos into mildly interesting, vintage-looking photos. The $1 billion dollar deal proved to be a hit when it raked in 90 million users. Celebrities were Instagramming their parties, people took pictures of what they were about to eat, and there was an influx of cats. And babies.

Naturally, Twitter had to step up. After a dismal filter add-on to their photo service, they then decided that sharing 24 frames per second is better than one. Although there are video sharing apps available on the market, nothing is seamlessly integrated into Twitter — that is, until now. Vine’s premise is quite simple: You tap the screen to record up to six seconds of high-quality video which is then uploaded lightning fast (depending on your third world mobile carrier).

Brevity vs. limitations

Nobody knows why it’s six seconds. Maybe because there are existing apps that let users upload 12, 15, and 60-second videos already. Twitter says that it has something to do with brevity; they have 140 characters, Vine has its six seconds. While mostly viewed as a limitation, the limits are there to challenge users to be better at entertaining the short-attention span demographic.

Vine has all the makings of a new classic. It’s the sweet baby between a .gif on Tumblr and a YouTube video. Users have utilized the tap and go nature of the app to create stop-motion animation that is as raw as it gets. Raw as in there’s no way people can fake it because Vine does not allow importing videos from other apps. So yeah, that hand chasing that egg drawing which magically transformed into a real egg upon capture happened as it happened. The short, DIY-nature of Vine caught up and is slowly becoming a marketing tool.

Recently, Taco Bell unleashed the new Cool Ranch Doritos taco shell with a nifty stop-motion ditty, which was probably made by a bored intern. Of course, Tyra Banks already uploaded some of her crazy, thereby proving my personal theory that she is on every app in the universe — even Grindr, a place with a lot of “Vine-azz boyz.”Other celebs on Vine include Paul McCartney, Tony Hawk, Bryanboy, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jenni Epperson, and Iza Calzado.

Useful for reportage

Apart from the quirky animated shorts, Vine proved to be useful for reportage. Gone are the blurrygrams of models walking down the catwalk since Vine made a killing on the runways of the New York Fashion Week. When a bomb exploded in Turkey’s capital city, Vine was the app that broke the news. The ability of Vine to record audio instead of just plain video puts it way above the average .gif.

Of course, it does have some drawbacks. Vine stirred a bit of controversy when a photo of a sex toy appeared on the app’s Editors’ Choice list. The app was booted off the Apple’s Editors’ Choice and got slapped with a mature rating and suggestive hashtags like #porn were censored. “Every time there’s a new advancement, it is used almost immediately for porn,” Jon Stewart quips.

Vine is getting there. While it doesn’t have the numbers that an app like Instagram has, it’s getting there. Sure, you can’t use your front-facing camera to record your mug; you also can’t chop and screw or filterize your final product, but at this early stage, Vine is clearly doing what it does best: bringing you six precious seconds of whatever interesting sh*t people have in their sleeves.

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Tweet the author @JunellHernando.

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