Say goodbye to the video-sharing apps Twitter’s Vine will try to strangle

vine headerPhoto-sharing apps like Instagram have taken the digital world by storm, and the next platform in line seems to be social video – at least, that’s what everyone keeps pitching.

Unlike photo apps, current video apps are fragmented, each with a distinct style for presenting and publishing content. One app will limit videos to 15 seconds, while another will encourages users to stitch together multiple clips into one continuous video. Right now platforms and users still seem undecided on how they want to create and watch short-form content. But Twitter’s bet on Vine’s stitched-together, looping clips, just might pay off, should it emerge as the standard for how users want to watch short-form video.

After Dick Costolo publicly teased Vine on Wednesday, which now apparently supports Twitter cards among other smaller upgrades, we all Vine was close to debut. With the full force of Twitter behind it, Vine could offer a serious challenge to third-party apps in the space – none of which have much of a following to hang on to. So which apps might be choked out by Vine?

Direct competitors

lighttThere are a couple of  apps that present videos in the same GIF-like looped format that Vine does, namely Vigi and Lightt. And because of the similarities, these two arguably have the most to lose. Vigi co-founder Senhor Ricardo tactfully told us that the company welcomes the new competitor.But Twitter integration is critical for remotely having a chance of mass adoption. When asked if Vigi offered Twitter card support, Ricardo said that it was a feature that the company was working on integrating – and something that Vine notably already has. 

Threat level: High. These apps do what Vine does, but they don’t have Twitter throwing money and spotlight at them, and they aren’t directly embedding into tweets.

One-take video apps

For the apps that aren’t looping or playing out GIF-like content, there are more traditional video apps that play back a seconds-long video shot in just one take. Viddy, Socialcam, and Klip are a few Vine competitors to keep a close eye on, considering these apps are the leading startups in their category and have garnered tens of millions of dollars in funding. Vine could be something of a challenge – maybe one that motivates these competitors to introduce a similar GIF-type function. But because different playback styles of videos have emerged, in retrospect this fractional state could play in Viddy, Socialcam, and Klip’s favor. In fact, if users end up deciding that apps like Vigi, Vine, and Lightt are too “annoying,” the traditional short-form video apps might end up winning.

socialcam Threat level: Mild. These apps are also about user-made video clips, but they bring different features to the table that distinguish them, so you could argue they aren’t direct competitors. However, it’s worth noting that Socialcam and Klip don’t support Twitter cards. 

Channel-based video apps

The third style of video apps, from a tech standpoint, aren’t all that different from apps like Viddy and Socialcam. Products like Tout and Mobli are distinguishing themselves from competitors by focusing on a different type of business model altogether. These types of apps aren’t just platforms for communication, or for capturing spur of the moment videos. They encourage users to publish quality content, similar to the types of videos that users would upload to their YouTube channels. 

Threat level: Low. These apps are more about curating content than creative outlets for users to experiment with. 

Twitter-specific video apps

Of course, a handful of third-party developers have made entire products that do nothing but help you upload video to Twitter. Apps like Twitvid, TwitC, and twitLENS exist for the specific purpose of allowing you to put video clips on Twitter – because that’s something that Twitter doesn’t have a native solution for. Of course, Twitter didn’t use to have a native solution for much of anything: The platform didn’t even have its own photo-uploading feature until summer 2011… when it kicked sand in the faces of outside developers who had been providing the function for quite some time and felt blindsided by the move. The Vine acquisition was originally seen as a warning to these third-party video developers, although Twitter hasn’t folded it into the platform as an integrated tool – yet. For the time being, Vine is a separate app that simply feeds into Twitter, like a lot of other video apps do. The different being, of course, that Twitter owns Vine and will therefore be giving it some special treatment.

Threat level: Mild. The biggest threat to these apps is the fact that there’s another Twitter video solution. However, these are more focused on the functionality of uploading videos – not making a creative piece of media, like you do with Vine. Anytime a video app that works with Twitter is launched, these guys have to be a little nervous. The fact that Twitter is increasingly interested in making in-house tools is what is actually nerve wracking for them. 

It’s all a little familiar…

If Twitter promoting Vine feels familiar, that’s because the whole deal is incredibly reminiscent of how Facebook scooped up and used Instagram. The obvious difference here is that when Facebook bought Instagram, it was already a huge player in its own right – Vine is not. Still, there are plenty of parallels to be drawn, the first of them being the interest in media-sharing apps. Here we have two big social networks that each scooped up photo-sharing and video-sharing specific apps. Both are letting them exist as standalone apps, although Facebook has some strong tie-ins, bringing a hefty amount of Instagram content to its site. We expect Twitter will do the same at some point, by either integrating Vine into its mobile app completely or somehow featuring its content.

Six seconds of stitched-together, looping videos just might be the next Instagram – but that’s a really big might. There’s always a shot, and the democratization of GIF creation does lend itself to Vine’s potential. With no clear leader in the social video space, and Twitter’s power to market Vine to the masses, thinks look goof for it. But the jury’s still out on whether Twitter is where we want to consume and send these bite-sized videos. Vine may be just the latest experiment, but with Twitter on its side, the cards are stacked in its favor.

Social Media

Instagram’s new Close Friends List lets you decide who should see your Story

Have a story to share, but don't want to send it to everyone? Instagram now offers a close friends list that will allow users to share stories with only the users included on that list.

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Social Media

Survey of teens says social media lets them connect with friends and get support

A survey of teenagers shows the ways that social media sites can be beneficial to them, like feeling more connected to their friends, the ability to interact with different people, and as a venue to get support when they are struggling.
Social Media

Hotel chain offers an Instagram ‘sitter’ who will post photos for you

If the pressure to post stunning Instagram photos is ruining your vacations, then how about hiring a local Instagram influencer to do the job for you while you go off and enjoy yourself? Well, such a service now exists.
Social Media

Ride the rails and share your stories with Amtrak’s new social media residency

Amtrak is looking for travel fans with a knack for telling stories on social media. The new Amtrak social media residency program wants amateur travelers to share photos, video, and written content from aboard long-distance trips.
Social Media

Hangouts isn’t being hung out to dry in 2020, Google says

According to a report, Google may shut down Google Hangouts by 2020. While Hangouts was once Google's top-tier messaging app, the app has since been neglected in favor of Android Messages.
Social Media

Tumblr bans nudity to create ‘a safe place for creative expression’

Tumblr will soon no longer allow images with adult content. The company says the change is one that's designed to help more creators feel comfortable sharing on the platform, but admits the change won't happen overnight.
Social Media

Members can share the same Story with Facebook’s new Group Stories

Facebook Group members can now view and share Group Stories. Unlike the Stories for an individual user, the new tool allows members to contribute to the same Group Story, if the feature isn't turned off by an admin.
Social Media

You can now share saved Facebook posts with a Pinterest-like collection tool

Facebook collections can now be shared with friends if you also want to allow them to contribute to the list. Facebook is rolling out an update that allows users to add a contributor to their collections, or lists of saved Facebook posts.

Broadway actor tells Kanye West to get off his phone during opening night

Theater actors can get understandably upset when they spot someone in the audience fiddling with their phone instead of watching the show. The other night that audience member was Kanye West, and he got called out for it.
Social Media

This event topped Facebook’s biggest moments of the year — again

As the year comes to a close, Facebook is looking back on what users discussed most over the last year. For two years in a row, International Women's Day topped the list. So what else is on the list?
Social Media

This band owns Twitter, according to list of top accounts and tweets for 2018

What was the biggest buzz on Twitter in 2018? Twitter's 2018 Year in Review highlights the biggest tweets, accounts, and hashtags. The most-tweeted celebrities, movies, TV shows, athletes, politicians and more in Twitter's 2018 trends.
Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.
Home Theater

It took Tom Cruise to raise awareness of this troublesome TV setting

Tom Cruise, in an unexpected PSA tweet, asks you to turn off motion interpolation on your TV, but stops short of how to do it. Here's more on the topic, along with links to a guide on how to rid your TV of the dreaded "soap opera effect."