Why brands should pay attention to Vine
This week Twitter launched Vine, a standalone iPhone app that allows users to create GIF-style six-second videos then share them with their friends on the new service or other social networks. Twitter’s self-styled Instagram for video will help make the site more beautiful - and a more attractive proposition to advertisers to boot.
It’s well known people tend to engage more with visual content than text alone. Analytics company Simply Measured found videos posted to Facebook are shared 12 times more than links and text posts combined. Twitter will be hoping the spattering of Vine tweets that are beginning to appear on the site will enrich and increase engagement - even if it’s just six seconds at a time - providing more ammo to raise the stakes when it comes to its ad rates.
And on that subject of links: Twitter has long acted as the middleman, pointing users to interesting pieces of content elsewhere on the web. By launching Vine, Twitter now owns some of the content its users are sharing, which could open up some valuable advertising opportunities.
Not only will Twitter simply have access to more information on what users are sharing, but it is likely users will share more information when they use Vine. Just look at the propensity of those who share the location their photos were taken on Instagram compared with the amount of people who choose to divulge where they are when they tweet text or write a Facebook status. This extra information could be particularly lucrative when it comes to the sophistication of Twitter’s location targeting ad offer.
The launch of Vine also provides an indication of what is on the advertising roadmap further down the line for Twitter.
It is widely understood Twitter is to offer brands the opportunity to place video ads on the site - we just don’t have a launch date yet. Vine offers a good indication of how the videos will be integrated. Yes, we knew that already with Twitter’s YouTube view panes, but Vine should serve to convince advertisers it has expertise in the format and knows how to make a clip go viral.
While the launch date for video ads remains shrouded in secrecy, marketers would do well to take heed of Vine co-founder Dom Hofmann’s words and use the “constraint” of the six-second format to “inspire creativity”.
In other words: become a brand trendsetter by being one of the first to sign up and give it a go.