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What is Vine?

Carlton Boyce / 20 June 2016

Vine is a social media platform that allows users to share 6-second looping video clips. Launched January 2013, it’s a bit like Instagram for video.

A man films vines using Vine on his smartphone

What makes Vine unique?

The restrictive nature of a six-second video that loops continuously encourages users to be creative in what they film, challenging them to come up with innovative ways to attract new viewers and then keep them coming back for more.

Read our simple guide to Instagram

How do I use it?

You download the Vine app for Apple iOS or Android and create an account. If you have a Twitter account (Vine is owned by Twitter) then you can use that, which makes finding any Twitter friends who are also on Vine very easy.

Read our user's guide to Twitter

The next stage is to start shooting your video. If you want to shoot your film from within the Vine app you touch the screen to start recording and take your finger away to stop. 

One of the key things that distinguishes Vine from other video-sharing apps is that this constant-touch method of recording enables you to easily start and stop the filming, meaning you can easily splice together different scenes. It also makes it easy to create time-lapse videos.

If you’d rather start by using videos you’ve already shot and stored on your phone you can upload and edit them within the Vine app too. Just press the arrow button on the bottom of the screen on the left-hand side.

Editing your Vine

When you’ve finished filming, press the arrow on the top right of the screen. You can then add a caption and #hashtags and even tag a location.

You can also add music by tapping the musical note symbol, edit your film by tapping the scissor symbol, or save it by pressing the floppy disc (remember them?) icon.

Now press the green ‘Next’ button, which gives you the option of publishing it on Vine, Twitter, Facebook, and/or Tumblr. If you want to save it without publishing, then uncheck the Vine symbol and then press ‘Share post’. This will change the green button to ‘Save to camera roll’ and save it without publishing it.

Is there anything I need to be aware of?

Yes, the Vine app records and uploads videos in a square format. This will crop the edges of your existing videos to make them fit, so you might lose the good stuff if it’s located in that part of the frame…

Any tips?

The best Vines loop seamlessly, meaning that the last frame and the first frame align perfectly; if you get this right (there is a very good example here) the video will loop endlessly, encouraging people to watch it for longer.

There are also some very good tips on shooting, editing, and posting your Vine here on Mashable and PC Mag.

Changes to Vine

In June 2016, Vine announced that like its parent company Twitter, it would roll out the ability to record longer video of up to 140 seconds, in order to support 'longer storytelling'; though still in its beta testing stage, it won't be available to all users immediately.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.