Twitter Vine: video sharing with a six second limit

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 24, 2013
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Companies, Internet, Twitter

Many people were not really sure about Twitter's chance of success when it was released to the public. A 140 character limit for messages did not really make a lot of sense back then but despite all the doubts, Twitter quickly become one of the most popular services on today's Internet.

Twitter today launched Vine, a video application and sharing service that limits the recording time to six seconds which again does not seem to make a whole lot of sense. Six seconds to record something meaningful? While it is certainly possible to do so, it is without doubt a limiting factor and it will be interesting to see if Vine will be as successful as Twitter.

As far as requirements go, Vine is currently only available as an application for Apple's iOS, or more precisely the company's iPhone and iPod Touch devices. Twitter's VP of Product Michael Sippey mentioned that the company is "working hard to bring it to other platforms". While those platforms have not been mentioned, it is likely that we will see a release for Android and maybe Windows Phone or Blackberry.

The service appears to be under heavy load right now which impacts not only the ability to publish videos on the platform but also the ability to view resulting videos in a web browser of choice.

On the positive side of things, Twitter users can use their account to log in to Vine and publish videos online. These videos can be directly posted on Twitter or Facebook as new messages in addition to be posted on Vine as well.

There does not seem to be a way right now to embed Vine videos on third party web pages. Video links posted on Twitter or Facebook lead to the Vine website where the linked videos can be viewed.


The idea to create a video creation and sharing service that is as limiting in many regards as Twitter may make sense from a perspective of continuity. While I'm fairly certain that I won't be using the service at all, I can see it become popular with the social crowd out there. After all, all you need is a Twitter account to get started and an iOS device. The big question is, why would you limit yourself to six seconds of video if services like YouTube or Vimeo are just around the corner?

What's your take on Vine and its chance of success?


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  1. Uhtred said on January 25, 2013 at 4:45 am

    I guess small files concentrate the “action” to the punchline… instant laugh for the instant fix mentallity people seem to have these days, they stream better, they are faster and cheaper to upload and so more affordable for kids (an increasing smartphone market). It might just catch on.

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