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July 2, 2014

Video Sharing Platform Vine Adds Loop Counter

Peter Suciu for - Your Universe Online

When you're watching the same thing over and over – and over – it might be easy to lose track of how many times it has replayed. If you've posted a video online, chances are you are also much more interested in how many times it has actually been viewed. This is why on Tuesday social media and video sharing platform Vine introduced a new loop counter to its Android and iOS app. It could come in quite handy given that it is easy to watch the six-second videos repeatedly.

The Twitter-owned company has been actually tracking loops since early April.

"With this update, there's now a new way for you to quickly get a sense of how popular and interesting a Vine may be –– based on how many times people watch a Vine loop," Mike Kaplinskiy, API lead at Vine, posted on the official Vine blog on Tuesday. "The number, which you can see in our mobile apps and on, updates in real time, so as you watch a video, you'll know you're watching with others at the same time."

This new feature to Twitter's ultra-short form video sharing app tracks how many times a user has watched a video – including how many times a user has watched the video in a row. The purpose isn't just so that users can watch the view counts add up fast, but as Vine's videos are increasingly used by advertisers, it can provide a sense of its reach as well.

"This is consistent with providing analytics to brands and marketers who are now embracing Vine as another channel," Greg Sterling, principal analyst at Sterling Market Research, told redOrbit. "If Twitter wants to develop Vine as a serious marketing vehicle it needs to provide this kind of information to create some sort of ROI (return on investment) metric."

Vine's Kaplinskiy added that the social media company has also tweaked the designs in its Android and iPhone apps, "offering you bigger edge-to-edge videos and a cleaner view of likes and comments," while it also revamped the Activity feed to make it easier for users to track what is happening on Vines.

Kaplinskiy further noted that many videos will include a "+" next to the loop count. This isn't because it is special however, but rather because Vine started to track the loop counts on April 3, 2014 so "Vines" created on or before that date will display the number – the "+" sign indicates that the actual loop count is much higher.

While it would seem that perhaps the loop counter should have been in there, Vine did look to address what has likely been seen as "must have" feature.

"The loop counter is a fun tool for power users and folks who care to see how popular they are with followers and friends," said Josh Crandall, principal analyst at NetPop Research. "In today's data-driven world, loop counter provides another data-point to measure and track. It's a 'nice-to-have' feature rather than one which is core to the product's success, so rolling it out now is not a surprise. It's just a part of an agile development philosophy."


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