There is a video tool you might not know about. And, even if you know about Vine, you might not be using it, despite its rapidly growing popularity.
Last month, Twitter, which owns Vine, announced that it has registered 40 million users in its first eight months of service. Initially only available for iPhones, the Vine mobile app was made available to Android users in July and a Windows version was announced in July, as well.
If you have not yet tried Vine, it is an interesting little app that allows users to record videos up to six seconds long. The videos are typically shared via Twitter. Instagram recently added video, too, although Instagram allows videos up to 15 seconds long. And, unlike Vine, Instagram allows users to upload previously recorded video. There is a good comparison of the two video services at VentureBeat.com.
It is no surprise that video sharing has moved in this direction. YouTube enjoys billions of users. The popularity of online video has proven beneficial to transportation organizations, too. The latest survey of state departments of transportation social media programs (available online in early October from AASHTO) found that four out of five are already using some kind of online video service, consistent with the 2012 survey.
But so far, the mini-videos of Vine have not captured the wider attention of transportation organizations. I did some searching and only found a few examples of any transportation agencies using Vine. Here’s one from Chicago.
The always progressive North Carolina Department of Transportation shared this Vine.
The Kansas City Metro shared this video.
And, the Michigan Department of Transportation’s video unit used Vine to provide a peak behind the scenes of one of its productions.
There are two ideas that stand out when I look at Vine and Instagram and similar services. First, it is an inherently social medium. The Vine community is its biggest asset, and it is increasingly separate and unique from its Twitter-verse parent. Instagram for several years has developed a core community of users topping more than 140 million accounts. While I’m not sure the video service has been as popular as its photo sharing standard, that is a huge collection of potential viewers with which to engage.
Second, the nature of Vine, in particular, is based in mobile technology. It relies on the smartphone, which means to be successful communication teams have to think ahead, think fast and get out of the office.
I am not sure whether Vine or Instagram will become core tools for the transportation communicator. But both are worth experimenting with.
Are you using Vine or Instagram video? Tell us how in the comment section below.