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Using just 140 characters, Twitter has revolutionized the way news is distributed.
Instead of visiting a handful of news sites every morning, people can simply check their Twitter feed where media outlets are constantly tweeting out their latest headlines.
Now in the same vein as Twitter, Vine — a mobile video-sharing service launched by Twitter last month — is looking to revolutionize news distribution and consumption.
But instead of a character limit, the app forces users to tell their story via video in just six seconds with any number of cuts. The video is repeated on an endless loop when posted.
"Like Tweets, the brevity of videos on Vine inspires creativity," read a statement from Twitter announcing their newly acquired feature. "Now that you can easily capture motion and sound, we look forward to seeing what you create."
"The Today Show," news anchors, and dozens of online and local news stations have already started using the free app.
"Today" has used its three Vine videos to tease upcoming segments, replay a popular on-air segment and even give a brief office tour.
Last week, Turkish journalist Tulin Daloglu successfully used Vine to cover the suicide bombing terrorist attack on the U.S. Embassy in Turkey.
"Daloglu's films are one of the first attempts to use Vine for journalism purposes," says Fast Company.
Here's one of her videos from the scene of the attack in Turkey:
— cale salih (@callysally) February 1, 2013
On a lighter note, fashion journalists have been using Vine to cover New York Fashion Week.
After officially beginning on Thursday, #NYFW is already a featured tab on Vine's "Explore" home page — and the only newsy hashtag among a sea of "Popular Now" topics such as #cute, #pets and #food.
@MTVStyle has already posted ten videos documenting runway shows, scenes from backstage and after parties.
And while @MTVStyle currently only has 351 followers on Vine, their videos are then automatically tweeted to the account's nearly 80,000 Twitter followers.
As Vine just launched in January after being acquired by Twitter in October, surely the outlet's followings will quickly increase.
One outlet doing this well is NowThis News, a mobile and social news network and early adapter of Vine.
As for how the web-based company has been successful with their videos, Martinet says "like with most other social networks, it seems like things that are clever, funny and that are high-effort seem to do the best. Stop-motion animation is super popular, but it takes a lot of effort to do well."
But, as Martinet notes, Vine is making it easier for citizen journalists to produce high quality videos.
"Most people don't realize how high quality the video they are used to actually is, especially how many cuts are in it," explains Martinet. "The product visioneers over at Vine did a great job identifying the 'long, shaky and boring' shortcomings of regular iPhone videos to build a product that forces brevity and encourages quick cuts. In a small way, it forces regular folks to make video a lot more like pros."
Martinet further explains that NowThis News sends their own VJs to news scenes often with nothing but their iPhones.
"Our VJ Cyrus Moussavi (@CyrusVJ) is heavily involved in following the Sandy recovery story. It's something we've continued to cover. Right after Vine launched, he went out to the Rockaways on his own to see how folks were getting along, and he used Vine to document what he saw."
And despite the mobile and social outlets having an advantage over TV news when using apps like Vine, don't count out big networks and local newscasts just yet.
"There are some great social media folks pushing the ball forward at local news stations where management gives them freedom," explains Martinet. "But organizations like NowThis News do have an advantage being native to the web. We think about web-first, social-first and mobile-first, which means we aren't constantly trying to shoehorn stuff that was made for TV into the social web. That rarely turns out spectacularly. Vine is a prime example of that growing divide."
Ultimately, says Martinet, "People who keep thinking of great ways to tell true stories are the future of news. But Vine is pretty cool, and we're just now starting to see the power of Instagram to tell stories around events and turn the process of user generated content on its head."
Here's how some other news outlets are already starting to utilize Vine:
- @PeopleMag has cleverly posted a sneak peek into an upcoming issue:
Sneak peek at Tim McGraw's (hot) new body in this week's PEOPLE! vine.co/v/bJYuBAjWv3Z
— People magazine (@peoplemag) January 30, 2013
- @RollingStone did a montage of magazine covers.
- @BuzzFeed documented the long line outside of a Trader Joe's as New Yorkers anticipate the blizzard.
- @HuffPostLive has posted teasers for upcoming segments, like this one with Khloe Kardashian:
— HuffPost Live (@HuffPostLive) January 31, 2013
But while the social media savvy outlets and citizen journalists are already a few video posts deep in Vine, many of the major news outlets have yet to utilize the app to their advantage.
CNN only just joined Vine one day ago and has fewer than 20 followers.
And unless Vine's little #porn problem takes them down, it's not going anywhere, so TV news outlets better come up with a plan fast.
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