There have been a few attempts to create the ‘instagram of video’ – social, accessible, allowing a moving moment to be captured, broadcast and shared with minimal effort. So far many of these have failed because of the inherent difference between still and video photography; stills can be understood in a microsecond, a video is a sequence that the eyes and brain need time to process.
Now we have Vine, from Twitter, which seeks to address this difficulty by allowing a maximun of six second films that autoplay as soon as they hover into view. It’s new and there are obvious missing pieces (Vine embeds and links? Inability to save a Vine in progress etc etc) but the launch buzz is there and within a few hours of launch brands were already adding Vines (as I guess we’ll have to call them) to their twitter editorial programme.
In this piece, Nathan Jurgenson says that for him it is when Vines are collected together, as on peekvine or justvined, that value emerges from the banality of videos so far shot:
“The trivial nature of most of the individual Vines becomes fascinating in aggregate. It might be the very triviality that seems profound: that so much minutia zenci porno from across the globe comes together so instantly just for us on our screens.”
I’m not convinced that collating triviality is in itself a game-changer. But in the same article Jurgenson talks about how Vine ‘asks us to see the world as potential quick cuts stitched together’ and this is potentially a more interesting behavioural differentiation from video apps that have come and gone before.
For just as instagram has taught us that with the right filter applied, any moment on earth can look more beautiful, more profound, perhaps we will see stop-motion animation elevated to the form that documents our shared social existence, six seconds at a time.