Michael Harper for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
Twitter-owned Vine, the first video-sharing app of its kind to share six-second loops with the world, announced yesterday in a Tweet the app has now passed 40 million users.
Months later, Facebook-owned Instagram released its own video sharing service which gave users 15 seconds in which to record and share their clips. Though many worried Vine users would stage a mass exodus and flood Instagram, today’s announcement indicates those concerns may not have been warranted.
When asked, Vine company officials said it has now reached 40 million registered users, not active users. This means despite 40 million people having a Vine account registered with the social network, the number of people who actively use the app each month is certainly lower. Instagram, on the other hand, has 130 million active users that do not need to download a separate app to begin sharing video — their friends’ videos simply arrive in their familiar feed.
“We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again: this community – now more than 40 million of you – is amazing. Thank you for inspiring us,” reads the Tweet from @vineapp.
Though the 40 million number only applies to registered users, it doesn’t mean Vine is stalled out. Vine launched early this year in January and by June (the same month Instagram launched their video service) had earned some 13 million users. In less than two months, Vine has more than doubled the number of registered users, an impressive feat no matter how one sees it.
When asked, Instagram described its active accounts as those who use the service at least once a month. By using this metric, the video-sharing service claims it has 130 million active users. The social site would not say how many of these millions of accounts use the new video service.
Perhaps more helpful in boosting Vine’s numbers since June was the release of the app on Android. Like Instagram, Vine launched first and exclusively on iPhone. In June, it released the long-awaited Android version of the Vine app, thereby opening up its doors to millions of other users. Also like Instagram and other iOS-first apps, Vine for Android launched with fewer features and some bugs not present in the iPhone version. Since then it has been improving the app to bring it in line with the existing iOS app.
In addition to announcing 40 million users, Vine cofounder Dom Hoffman gave an interview with NPR explaining how the company ultimately decided to offer six-second videos, a seemingly arbitrary number. After experimenting with various lengths — anywhere from five to ten seconds — the Vine team realized six seconds was the proverbial “just right” amount of time.
“One day we did wake up and say, six seconds,” joked Hoffman, saying it took a while to arrive at this conclusion. The other catchy thing about Vine is the loop. Though videos are only six seconds long, they loop continually until a user stops them or navigates away.
“The next thing that we noticed was that the videos start quickly but they also end very quickly and that felt anti-climactic,” said Hoffman, describing how they decided to add the looping feature to the service.