Vine has reportedly now overtaken Instagram in terms of volume of content shared on Twitter – with 2,949,432 Vine mentions versus a paltry 2,264,920 Instagram mentions on 8th June. Some factors which are likely to have contributed to its meteoric rise in popularity are:
1 It’s easy to use: It has an intuitive, simple interface and clear tutorial – just touch anywhere on the screen and hold to begin recording and let go to stop.
2 It’s a seamless user experience: Unlike Instagram who pulled ‘Twitter Card’ support (a way of embedding content within a tweet) it is possible to view Vine videos direct from your Twitter newsfeed, without having to click through to Vine. This is likely to increase the propensity for people to engage with and share Vine content on Twitter (arguably over and above Instagram images), therefore taking advantage of Twitter’s reach.
3 It’s accessible: Apart from my mate Jack who still uses his original Nokia, pretty much everyone has a smartphone (in 2012 it was reported that 58% of the population of the UK owned a smartphone – that figure is likely to be significantly higher in 2013).
The app is available across platforms (Vine was recently released on Android in addition to iOS)
Makes stop motion video – historically the preserve of those with the right equipment and technical knowhow – available to anyone who wants to give it a go.
4 It’s unique: Undoubtedly their unique proposition has clearly set them apart – couple this with (arguably) increasing apathy towards Facebook (as well as the recent uproar when Instagram changed their terms of service) and it makes sense that Vine is getting people’s attention.
5 It’s challenging – as well as fun: Of course we’re all obviously familiar with ‘Csíkszentmihályi’s Flow’. This describes the state people are in where they are intrinsically motivated by what they’re doing – to the point they are so immersed in it they lose track of time.
In a nutshell, we are motivated by challenges, and like learning – however as we acquire new skills and master something we can inadvertently move towards a state of boredom. Arguably the challenge presented by creating an engaging 6 second video is not easily mastered and the creative possibilities are endless.
Csíkszentmihályi identifies six components of being in a state of ‘flow’, having seen some of the more popular videos on Vine and the effort that has gone in to creating them – you can easily imagine these components of flow were in play (taken from Wikipedia):
- intense and focused concentration on the present moment
- merging of action and awareness
- a loss of reflective self-consciousness
- a sense of personal control or agency over the situation or activity
- a distortion of temporal experience, one’s subjective experience of time is altered
- experience of the activity as intrinsically rewarding, also referred to as autotelic experience
6 It’s an inherently human experience: At its heart, a combination of video and audio provides a much more intimate and human experience than simply a boring old static image or 140 characters. Part of the popularity of Instagram is in part down to the emotive warmth the filters allow you to easily add to pictures of your most recent meal or edgy east London street scene.
In the an age of the digital native where people’s attention spans have declined as they become accustomed to instant engagement – Vine’s six second format makes it perfect.
6.5 Its mechanic might stop people over sharing? This is only 0.5 of a point, as people love to over share and clearly the value/ quality of content posted is subjective. But relatively speaking, it makes sense that the additional time and effort required to create content on Vine might well act as a barrier to the ‘noise’ experienced elsewhere. Fingers crossed.