On Thursday last week, Twitter, the company that lead the world in an effort to compress text communications into 140-character snippets, announced their newest way to miniaturize human communication: 6 second videos. Their new service, called Vine, makes it very easy to create extremely short video clips on a mobile device and then instantly share them with the world on the Twitter network.
Unlike the longer video clips that you’re probably producing and then distributing via other channels such as YouTube or Vimeo, Twitter purposefully intends to make you focus on getting to the point very, very fast. Your video displays directly within your Tweet, and directly within your Twitter stream. The videos you produce on Vine loop, and for those that remember the good old days of Web 1.0, definitely have a feeling of the animated GIF returning to popular culture. Twitter describes Vine like this:
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’re quirky, and we think that’s part of what makes them so special.
As communication professionals trying to move supporters and donors up the ladder of engagement, how might Vine be useful for your online communication strategies? Here’s a few ideas that could be useful for organizations starting to explore the benefits of these short video clips.
1) Call-to-action videos
Organizations that are trying to rally people to a cause often find the 140-characters of Twitter limiting to get their message across with impact. If a picture can tell a thousand words, what could 6 seconds of moving picture do for your immediate call-to-actions when embedded directly into your supporters’ Twitter feeds. Since the Vine videos play directly within the native Twitter app for mobile devices, expect this to be used quite a bit in advocacy.
2) Put your supporters in the spotlight
A video post with Vine also can include text, and is extremely easy to shoot on a mobile device. And since it’s only six seconds of video, you don’t need to spend hours rehearsing lines to say to the camera. So, why not engage your constituency and ask them to share their message of support for your cause by posting a video of themselves saying why they care about a certain program or cause of your organization. Have your supporters tag their videos with a hashtag you’ve predefined, and then display this video stream of Tweets on your website to show off their support. With very little effort, you can have your community sharing their smiling faces of support on your website with video.
3) Give insight into your work
Your community is passionate about your cause, and you’d love to show them more of the great work you’re doing with their donor dollars, but don’t have the time to film, edit, and produce even a 60 second video. A video on Vine liberates you from the need to be especially polished, and pushes you towards succinctness ..and raw feedback.
Consider using Vine to snap a quick video of your volunteers in the field, your team highlighting a particular effort, or even just a scene of the environment in which your organization operates. Vine could potentially become a standard video distribution channel in low-bandwidth areas of the world where Internet access is a premium but where sharing a story with video could be a very powerful way to communicate.
My first Vine video – Guaraná!
What better for a first video using Vine than a can of Guaraná? vine.co/v/bJHxt0qJOOi
— Ryan Ozimek (@cozimek) January 29, 2013
Share your thoughts, ideas
Let us know how your organization uses Vine to communicate with your community in the comments below. What might be some of your ideas of how non-profits can leverage this new tool?
One last question: will Vine usher in a new era of portrait orientation video? It sure seems like most of the examples we’ve seen thus far are portrait in their orientation, likely because it’s the natural way to hold a smartphone while shooting video.