Feb 6, 2013
Note: I wrote this as a comment on a post over at MarketingProfs, but when I realized I’d written 300+ words, I thought: This is a post in itself!
I’ve got two issues with the app. The big one is sound. Montage works in movies because you can have a separate audio track that provides continuity. Since Vine doesn’t allow you to separate sound from image, the soundtracks of Vine-ettes (as I call them) tend to be choppy and abstract (or, “experimental,” to be generous). You can show a kind of story, but it’s much harder to literally tell one.
The sound is also a distraction. Whereas I can scroll through Instagram while waiting at the dentist’s office without bugging people (or at home without bugging my wife), with Vine I either have to use earbuds or keep the sound off, which means missing what can be an important piece of the content (though, to my first point, often is not).
The second issue is time. Unlike Instagram, it takes time to make Vine-ettes. This makes it, in its way, “anti-mobile.” Since Instagram allows me to pull in pictures from my photo library, I can snap pics on the fly and “Instagram” them whenever I want.
With Vine, as simple as these things can be, sometimes it takes time to get them right and sometimes I will re-shoot a couple times and then just give up (ok – I’m a quitter).
There is also something to be said for the at-a-glance scrolling that both Twitter and Instagram provide. With Vine, I have to stop and watch. Again, it’s only 6 seconds, but it adds up and makes the interaction lumpy rather than smooth.
I’m not saying that Vine couldn’t fix these issues—by allowing for separate sound recording, for example—but, frankly, if they added more features it would simply make the process more involved and time-consuming. Once that happens, this will become what I think it is destined to be: a novel social tool/network/phenomenon whose widespread adoption will stall.