July 5, 2013
Private Posts Now Protected In The Vine
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Twitter's Vine, the social media service built around six-second videos, quickly earned a rabid following when it launched earlier this year. While popular, the app and service have largely been of a first generation caliber since launch, leaving many users to ask for some key features and updates.
Vine has finally answered some of these requests this week, shipping an update to the Android and iOS apps that allows users to protect their posts from the wiles of the open Internet, share the Vines they love with their friends, and enjoy new channels by which to discover new content. Vine shipped the updates to the iOS version first, bringing features like protected posts to Android later that day. According to the social media group, the rest of the new updates will ship to Android sometime next week.
Until now, there's been only one way to use Vine: Publicly. Facebook, Twitter and other social networking platforms let their users go private and protect their posts, meaning only those they choose can see their activity on the site. While part of what has made Vine great is its sheer simplicity (take six seconds of video, post it to the site) it also left some holes in the service for those who prefer not to share with the world. Though Vine users now have control over who sees their videos, those who choose to share these videos to Twitter or Facebook will leave themselves more open. According to a Vine blog, these shared videos will also be viewable on the web.
Sharing content on Vine had never been incredibly easy in the past. When a user wanted to share a video with their friends, they'd have to make sure they were physically near them and share a screen. While a nice touch of community, this wasn't always convenient or even possible. Now Vine users can "Revine" a video they enjoy with their friends when they want to share. Just like the retweeting of the micro-blogging platform which owns Vine, Revining will send out that video and place it in a user's feed.
Taking a cue from YouTube and other video services, Vine also introduced 15 channels, places where users can find videos from a certain category right from the "explore" screen. Here users looking for new and popular content amongst categories like Comedy, Art & Experimental, Cats, Dogs, Fashion and the like. Those videos which are tagged with this kind of content are placed here, and those Vines which are most popular will make it to the top of the list. Elsewhere in the vein of discovery, Vine has added a feature called "On the Rise." This gives users a chance to keep up with the most popular and up and coming Vines and users on the service.
Shooting great and popular Vines is a little easier with the new camera feature included in this update. A grid, a popular element of many camera and shooting apps, makes its first appearance in Vine, allowing users to shoot straight and level videos. The new update also brings what Vine is calling "Ghost Mode," which overlays a faded version of the last shot taken in the app on screen. This should help those Viners looking to weave together intricate scenes composed of several shots. Co-founder and CTO Colin Kroll said in a blog post that this is Vine's "biggest, most exciting update yet," noting even more updates are on their way.
This new update appears only a few weeks after Facebook's Instagram introduced their own video-sharing feature which allows 15 second videos, much longer than Vine's six.