By: Sara Cox, Kayla Laughlin, & Marisa DeLuca
Vine: the new personality-driven platform, which allows its more than 200 million monthly users to share video clips of 6 seconds, is one of the most up and coming apps known to smartphone users. Vine is where we can “explore a world of beautiful, looping videos.” There are 1.5 billion Vine loops played daily. Vine also boasts an incredible 12 million average videos added to twitter per day.
What is Vine?
Vine is an extremely popular and explosive new app that has the attention of millions of smartphone users around the world. In order to download the free app, you must be using a smartphone. The app can link to your Twitter account and connect you with friends, or you can create your own account without the Twitter app. In October 2012, before Vine’s official launch, Twitter purchased Vine from the founders Dan Hoffman, Rus Yusupov, and Colin Kroll. These three men had created Vine in June 2012, only 5 months prior to selling it for $970 Million. Joel Lunenfield, Twitter’s VP- global brand strategy, made a statement that Vine doesn’t have any plans to feature traditional, force-fed advertising. Instead, Twitter is working as the middleman between brands and stars with major social followings.
Once you are logged onto your Vine account, you are given your own profile page, which you can customize however you’d like. Vine takes most of your information from Twitter, including name, photo, bio and transfers it to your new Vine account when you sign up. One feature that Vine has that Instagram and Facebook are known to lack, is color options per users profile. You are able to change the background and font colors for your own profile so it is distinct from others.
Vine is unlike any app we’ve seen yet. There are so many unique aspects to it. The most obvious one being that vines are only allowed to be six seconds long. Once the video ends though, it will start playing again, which is referred to as “looping”. When looking at a user’s vine, there are so many different ways to see the level of attraction each video has received. You can see how many likes, comments, revines and loops each video has. A like is just when you click the smilie face indicating that you enjoyed this. On your profile, your followers can click a link to see the collection of videos you’ve liked. Next you can comment and add an opinion or hashtag, or you can tag a friend so that they are given a notification to watch the video. The next form of communication is through something called revine. This is where a user shares this video on their personal profile. Lastly, there is a queue on top of each video, indicating the amount of loops it has received.
What Sets Vine Apart
Although six seconds seems like a minuscule amount of time to create a video, the possibilities really are endless. This short time frame is a way to show your friends, colleagues, and anyone out there looking a place in your life in teeny tiny moments. Vine isn’t just about creating and posting yourself, it’s about interacting and seeing what else is out there. There are over 200 million monthly active users and about 1.5 billion vine loops played daily. Vine is filled with everyday people, businesses, comedians, and up and rising “vine stars”. Vine is the app that has the power to bring all different types of people together through these moments in time.
Once you are logged onto your account you have the freedom to browse all videos on the database. You can search by someone’s name, user name or hashtag. There are also available search options. There is a discover page which can direct you to videos categorized: popular now, on the rise, music, comedy, art, news, sports, style, food, DIY, places and many more. You can also following what’s trending around the world right at that moment in time. Vine also offers seasonal categories based on current holidays and events going on. You can also share vines on other platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and blogs.
Marketing Opportunities Through Vine
From a business’ standpoint, Vine is an exceptional marketing tool. Vine is potentially offering you free marketing to different audiences based on the themes or hashtags you choose to use. This app allows you to create “mini ads” quickly and easily at essentially no cost. On this platform a company can show off their newest products and how they work. Another unique advantage is that a company can show off their workplace culture and everyday activities to customers through this platform.
Some brands are now paying Vine’s most popular users, commonly referred to as “Vine Famous” or “Vine Stars”, to organically push products to their massive following. These Vine stars can earn anywhere from $5,000-$30,000 per six second video. These stars put a new twist on social media marketing. A Vine Star can be given incentive to create a Vine about a new product, and from there a whole new consumer audience is created. These Vine Stars are young, creative, and spunky. They know how to market to their generation, and they can catch a viewer’s attention a lot quicker. Most ads on Vine that are being promoted as witty and make the audience laugh. This is so that the vine will keep looping and be shared across the platform.
One way to keep sharing and promoting a product on Vine would be by using a hashtag. If a business were to create a Vine to promote a new product, they could hashtag, and encourage their followers to participate and share the hashtag with their response Vine.
Coca-Cola is an example of a large corporation that is paying Vine influencers to promote new products. Coke launched their “#ShareACoke” campaign across Vine. They had Vine Star Jake Paul be their Vine spokesperson. This was a great opportunity because they utilized a third party influencer to help strengthen their brand across this platform. One of the most interesting and surprising aspects of these Vine influencers is that nowhere on their videos does it say or indicate it is an ad. Normally, the only way you can tell is if there is a hashtag “#ad”, or a different hashtag that indicates it is. This video by Jake Paul then encouraged over 1,220 users to engage and create videos using the hashtag, “#ShareACoke”. Other large companies who are using Vine to market are: Dunkin Donuts, Airbnb, Samsung, Target, Oreos and Trident.
Twitter makes money from Vine by connecting brands with talent. The Vine stars who have massive followings create brand based content on their page through this opportunity. Viner Brittany Furlan is followed by 9.1 million people, and teenage heartthrob Nash Grier, another star, is followed by 11.6 million people.
What Twitter does is become the middleman. An ad agency will come to them when launching a new product and explain which audience they’d like it targeted towards. Twitter then goes through the Vine platform and responds, “’Okay, here’s 15 people [and] five of them, alone, have a combined audience bigger than BuzzFeed.’” One company that that used this system is HP, which had influencers create 10 Vines promoting the launch of a convertible laptop. The Vines were such a hit that HP then turned them into a 30-second TV ad.
Risks in Marketing Activities Through Vine
As with anything, there are risks when it comes to using Vine as a marketing tool. Vine is a personality driven platform, and has a youthful audience. Marketers cannot use traditional, stiff marketing. In order to catch the eyes of the audience the delivery needs to be light, creative, and more often than not, goofy. Another risk of Vine is that if you chose an influencer to promote your product, you can then be associated negatively with them if they post something that is in poor taste. The third risk is that the Vine platform isn’t always appropriate for younger audiences. There is no way to tell ahead of time if a Vine will contain vulgar language and profanity. There are clear rules set out by Vine about what you can and cannot post. But, when it comes to removing a Vine, someone from the Vine community must report it as being inappropriate. Another downside is that Vine does not offer parental controls, so there is no way to prevent someone with the app from viewing certain types of videos. The last risk is that 31.8% of Vine’s users are aged between 13-17. Depending on the product, this could be a strength; however, it can also be considered a weakness because most of these kids do not have the income to personally purchase higher end items like the new HP laptop. That is a very important risk that marketers need to think about when implementing a marketing plan.