Vine’s Probably Sticking To Its 6-Second Limit, But There Are Workarounds
User Experience chief says some Vine creators tell stories over multiple videos, while others create accounts specifically to tell one story over time.
Six seconds is to Vine what 140 characters is to Vine’s parent company, Twitter. The video length is the mobile video service’s calling card, so don’t expect it to go away any time soon.
“It’s pretty unlikely we would extend the length of Vine to 10 seconds or something like that,” said Vine’s head of user experience, Jason Mante, on Thursday while on stage at Re/Code’s Code/Media conference in Laguna Niguel, California.
That may be a little disheartening to brands and media companies that struggle to encapsulate the stories they want to tell into six seconds. But that’s kind of the point. “It’s less about it being six seconds and more about the type of intent that needs to go into creating content at that length,” Mr. Mante said.
That’s not to say Vine isn’t curious about finding ways it can bend time. “We prototype stuff all the time…. Have I ever seen different versions of the product? Of course. But it’s important to build things that don’t alienate users [who put a lot of effort into producing six-second videos],” Mr. Mante said. He didn’t offer any details about what changes to the product Vine has experimented with internally.
During a Q&A session, Marketing Land asked whether Vine is developing any workarounds to its six-second limit that would be similar to how Twitter has used its Cards to extend the amount of content that can be included in a tweet without eliminating the 140-character limit. Mr. Mante dodged the specific question about Vine’s product development plans, but he said people using Vine have already come up with their own loopholes. For example, some people string stories together over multiple Vines, which sounds similar to a “tweetstorm” on Twitter. Some people have even created Vine accounts with the sole intention of telling a single story through that account, as if the account were a movie and each Vine video was a scene.
“People just sit and binge-watch entire accounts. So I think there’s a different use case when it comes to using Vine than other platforms like Twitter where you’re checking in many times a day over a short period of time. [On Vine] people are spending less sessions but for much longer periods of time. And I think those kinds of workarounds where people are able to tell longer stories over an entire account are really interesting,” Mr. Mante said.
Another question that has loomed over Vine’s development since the product launched three years ago is how it will make money. Vine creators are able to make money by producing sponsored videos for brands, and Twitter has been able to take a cut of some that money since acquiring brand-creator matchmaking service Niche last year. But Vine doesn’t have a way to make money for itself.
“Are we interested in finding a way to pay these creators and having an influx of money? Absolutely. But at this time we have nothing to announce in terms of an ad product,” Mr. Mante said.