Vine launches, Twitter and Facebook clash over access, users lose

Craig Kanalley has a good breakdown over at HuffPo about Twitter's acquisition/launch of Vine, an iOS app described as kind of a "video instagram" that allows you to share 6-second looping video clips. Kinda like ani-GIFs in video form, sort of, but proprietary. Twitter-only.

I have mixed feelings about Vine, not because I don't think the idea is kind of cute and nifty, or that people won't find clever creative uses—it's just not as open and interoperable as I'd like. As media sharing services such as Vine and Instagram grow, the already-siloed social web becomes ever more so. And, that's not good.

As Rob Pegoraro said on Twitter today, where I was thinking out loud about the fact that the form and medium of Vine videos are inherently branded, in a way...

People are fine with the artificial constraints of various forms of poetry, but those don't belong to Haiku, Inc. or Iambic LLC.

In his HuffPo article, Craig aptly explains how mom (Twitter) and dad (Facebook) keep fighting and can't we all just be nice to each other and the kids are the ones who lose out the most.

Related: Doug Gross at has some ideas on how Vine could change Twitter.

UPDATE: I originally embedded a tweet in this post that contained a "Vine" (I guess that's the shorthand people are using for their particular 6-second looping format). On some browsers, including Safari on iOS, the goddamned thing auto-played with sound, taking over the browser, whenever you load the Boing Boing front door. That ain't right. I've removed it.


  1. And how do I stop that 6-second clip on the web page from playing over and over and over and over and over?  With gifs, a quick tap on the escape key would give my distracted eyes a rest.  With this?

    1. Yeah, Chrome didn’t behave that way, I had no idea. When I loaded the Boing Boing front door on iOS, bam, it took over and autoplayed forever. Screw that! I removed it from the post. Bad bad bad.

  2. What’s stopping someone from creating simple animated-gif visualizers in regular Twitter clients, so that if someone links to some cute cat gif it will display them under the message, just like the Vine thing above is doing?

    What’s stopping all the Twitter clients, together, from doing that?

    Is it just that they wouldn’t display in in the official feed, so if viewing from there you’d have to click on the link?

    1. Twitter explicitly discourages third party Twitter clients, and puts some serious restrictions on how much the existing ones can innovate.  They might see something like what you propose as too much, and turn off your access.  Read about their API terms here:

  3. I’m #TeamTwitter all the way. I’m so sick of going on Twitter and reading snippets of Facebook statuses, or links to photo galleries on Facebook. If I want to read what someone posted on Facebook, I’ll go to Facebook. Twitter needs to do something to stem this tide, or else it will just be a place where Facebook users just dump links to Facebook and Instagram. 

    Keep Twitter Twitter. 

    1. It would be great if Twitter reversed their policy of hating on third party clients.  I’m sure someone out there would love to give you a filter that gets rid of facebooky posts, but they’re afraid to violate Twitter’s new rules.  Alternatively, you could unfollow the people that post stuff you don’t like :)

  4. I think Keek does a better job of doing actual social video.  Vine is just gifboom jazzed up a bit.

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