How Vine Climbed to the Top of the Social Media Ladder
Posted by Rant4u
In April, when bombs ripped through the finish line of the Boston Marathon, there was a defining visual of the explosion that went viral online. It wasn’t a photograph, though, or a YouTube video; instead, it was a short, looping video called a Vine. Owned by Twitter and launched in January, Vine is to short videos what Instagram is to snapshots: You shoot, edit, and share clips, all through a mobile app. As Boston showed, Vine has quickly become an integral part of online culture. Wired chatted with the service’s three young founders—Rus Yusupov, Dom Hofmann, and Colin Kroll—about how Vine grew up.
WIRED: Tell us about the original idea.
Dom Hofmann:We wanted to build a tool that would easily cut video shots together. That’s really all it was. It crashed a lot, but we gave it to our friends and they liked it.
Hofmann: It began with unlimited time. But when we saw our friends trying to share their videos over text message, we realized that it needed a social component—and that meant we needed to make it quick to share and view.
Colin Kroll: We didn’t want our users to sit there looking at spinners all day, so we needed a smaller file size.
Hofmann: We tried a bunch of different lengths—first five seconds, then 10 seconds, and some lengths in between. Eventually we realized that time wasn’t really the problem. People just slightly underestimate how long it takes to shoot. So we settled on six seconds, but we let people shoot a half second more if they need it. Once we did that, everyone had way more luck getting their ideas across.
WIRED: What about the loops?
Hofmann: As soon as we started limiting the length, we noticed that the videos started to feel anticlimactic. So we put in a tweak to make them loop. As soon as we got that working, we could tell it was a defining feature—really, one of our two defining features, the other being the time limit. Read More
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