Twitter Adds Video To Tweets With Vine
January 24, 2013

Twitter Announces Vine, Adds Old School Video to Tweets

Peter Suciu for — Your Universe Online

Photos and Twitter have long gotten celebrities and even a member of Congress into some deep trouble. Now the micro blogging service will let users add some video. On Thursday, Twitter announced a new mobile service called Vine, which allows users to create and share looping videos. The video won´t be integrated into actual tweets, at least not yet.

“Like Tweets, the brevity of videos on Vine (6 seconds or less) inspires creativity,” the company said in an official blog post. “Now that you can easily capture motion and sound, we look forward to seeing what you create.”

Vine is, at present time, exclusive to mobile, and apparently Apple´s iOS. It is available as a free downloadable app for the iPhone and iPod Touch via the Apple App Store, but Twitter has added “we´re working now to bring it to other platforms, so stay tuned for that.”

Twitter, which is still primarily known for its 140-character messages, has supported embedded YouTube videos since 2008, but this is the first time the micro social network will host video content with Vine. The video, like the characters, will have to be succinct or at least concise -- in other words “short.” At present, the videos can last just six seconds, but that´s probably still enough time for some celebrities to get themselves in trouble.

According to CNET, Twitter´s team tested various video lengths, ranging from four to ten seconds and came to the conclusion that six seconds was just the right length. This isn´t the first such add-on to those aforementioned 140-character posts, as the company has added photos, article summaries and other content. But the key has always been to keep it short.

The actual video could be seen as a throwback to technology that has been around a lot longer than Twitter, and is somewhat reminiscent of GIF -- Graphics Interchange Format -- a bitmap image format that was introduced by CompuServe in 1987 and along with the JPEG had been one of the de facto image formats for the World Wide Wide. Animated GIFs were among the first “video” to be supported on the Internet, beginning with Netscape Navigator version 2.0 in the early 1990s.

However, the video used with Twitter´s new Vine service is a little more complex than animated GIFs and is based on MP4 files.

And while Twitter has dominated the micro-blogging world so far, it could see competition in the extra, extra short video world. CNET noted that Tout, a service that calls itself the “Twitter for Video,” already has a service that can allow people to shoot videos of up to 15 seconds and embed those into tweets, as well as Facebook posts, blogs and elsewhere. The Tout video content can even be viewed directly on the Internet.

All this could mean the short form video could get a serious makeover, and again celebrities, politicians and just about everyone else may want to think before they send out those short clips. The video may be just six seconds, but the results can last a lifetime!