Villing & Company

Vine For Twitter: A Hammer In Search of a Nail

In some areas, I consider myself something of an early adopter. In social media, not so much. Full disclosure…I must admit when I first heard about Twitter, I was more than a twiddle bit skeptical.

Now comes the latest from Twitter. It's called Vine. If you haven't heard about it yet, you are not alone. So far, only about 15 percent of US Internet users are aware of Vine but since it was just introduced on January 24, that's not bad. Here's how Vine is described by eMarketer:

"Vine (is) an iPhone app that enables users to record videos of up to six seconds and then easily share them with their Twitter followers. The app reached No. 1 among free apps in the Apple social app store the day after its release."

Although Vine, like many social networks, will be primarily used as a consumer communications tool, it appears the industry hopes it will present unique marketing opportunities for specific purposes like new product introductions.

I've looked at the app and some of the reviews. To be honest, I don't see it. How much can one possibly communicate in six seconds? Many of the examples I've seen were narcissistic, self-promotional silliness. (Come to think of it, I guess that is a common denominator in many social media channels.) In fairness, there were a few interesting applications. This one for McDonald's new Fish McBites does show creativity and good use of a promotional teaser strategy.

Fundamentally, though, Vine seems like a classic example of Maslow's belief that "If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

Six seconds is a gimmick. There are few opportunities to convey a marketing message with any kind of substance in six seconds. While there is little doubt society's attention span is becoming ever shorter and shorter, a three to five minute video is still the most prevalent format for mobile phone viewing. Even the more logical length of two minutes or less represents only about 20 percent of mobile views.

Well, I've been wrong before and stand ready to be proven wrong again. Time will tell. In the meantime, I prefer to think that we have more than a hammer in our toolbox when it comes to marketing with video.

Filed Under: social media

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