Less than 10 days after it’s debut, news about the Vine app is a lot like Super Bowl pre-game commentary. We’ve got so-called experts everywhere weighing in on who will win and who will lose. Whether you like Vine, hate it or couldn’t care less whether it thrives or withers, I’m willing to bet you’re missing the point of this app.

It’s not about a shiny new social toy. It’s not about the increasing popularity of snack-sized content, social video or the recent resurgence of the gif.

It’s all about Twitter.

Twitter Tool First, Video Platform Second
Vine extends Twitter’s utility, giving users another reason to make the 140-character platform their social destination of choice. That’s a big deal for Twitter, making it a more desirable ad platform for brands. Some suggest that Vine is as important to Twitter as YouTube was to Google.

And I’m willing to bet that a Venn diagram of Twitter and Vine users would show most of Vine’s circle overlapping with Twitter’s (much larger) circle. Vine’s generated a lot of conversation on Twitter over the last seven days, racking up more than 26,000 mentions each day.

One reason Vine’s generating buzz and is a top download on iTunes is because Twitter owns the app and promoted Vine on it’s blog. Social video isn’t a new concept. But Twitter’s promotion was the rough equivalent of the Oprah Book Club, driving more downloads, more quickly, than the app could have achieved on its own. Brands as varied as Gap, CNN, Jo-Ann Stores and others are already playing with Vine’s stop-action video snippets.

Controversy = Sign of Success
Unfortunately, pornography was being posted on Vine seemingly hours after the launch. Vine responded quickly, after a brief stumble. But I’m wondering if such an early attempt to exploit the platform is more a sign of its potential than of its potential issues. Either way, you can assume the app will be tweaked on an ongoing basis to deal with its issues.

Bottom Line?
Despite my opinion of Vine, the decision to tap this  shiny new app for your marketing efforts comes down to a few simple questions:

  • Is your audience using Vine?
  • Is your audience using Twitter?
  • Does Vine allow you to reach them more effectively?

If Vine, or another other shiny new tool, doesn’t help a brand more effectively connect with consumers? It’s just noise.

 Related Articles
Vine’s Potential & Problems – Nieman Journalism Labs’ take on Vine’s news impact.
Seven Places to Watch Videos on Vine, Even if You Don’t Have the App – FastCompany points to several sites that have already sprung up to serve up Vine content on the web.
Vine: The New Twitter or Chatroulette? Salon walks through the pros and cons of the app, including its connection to the popular gif movement.

Instagram vs. Vine .gif via Laughing Squid

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