Twitter launches Vine micro-video sharing service

Twitter steak tartare video Twitter boss Dick Costolo posted a video showing an edited sequence of food being prepared

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Twitter has launched Vine, an addition to the social network that allows users to embed six second videos within their tweets.

The service was used first by Twitter boss Dick Costolo, who posted a clip of himself making steak tartare.

Twitter bought out developer Vine Labs, a start-up based in New York, in October last year.

The program is available as a stand-alone app in the Apple App Store - but not yet on other platforms.

Videos posted on Vine are on an infinite loop - in a manner similar to animated gifs, an image format that has been popular since the very early days of the internet.

"Like Tweets, the brevity of videos on Vine inspires creativity," wrote Michael Sippey, Twitter's vice president of product.

'Little windows'

Dom Hofmann, co-founder of Vine, said the two companies shared "similar values and goals".

"Posts on Vine are about abbreviation — the shortened form of something larger.

"They're little windows into the people, settings, ideas and objects that make up your life."

They will also be able to follow other Vine users and search for clips from people they know.

The acquisition could prove to be a shrewd move, one analyst said.

"Video will be the next new front in the battle to add more functionality to social platforms," said Adrian Drury from research firm Ovum.

"In a way it is surprising that it has taken this long to integrate micro-video blogging," he added.

"This is Twitter's first effort and we see it as an early experiment and it will be interesting to see how consumers respond."

Annoying?

IDC analyst Alys Woodward said: "I'm not convinced that the steak tartare video was the best example they could have used, as six seconds is too short to give enough information on how to cook anything."

She added: "Twitter needs to ensure it can prevent offensive videos from being widely shared and I haven't found any evidence that Vine does that."

Some critics have pointed out that the video continuously looping could become irritating.

"I would welcome one in every 10 or 15 tweets having a video element but a cascading stream I would find pretty annoying," said Mr Drury.

"Twitter will see how people respond and if users don't like it presumably they will change it," he added.

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