All you need to know about Twitter’s hot new app Vine

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On Friday Twitter unveiled what could well be the hottest new app for a very long while. It is called Vine and is a video sharing facility that is iPhone only at the moment. Ok so it doesn’t sound that exciting, but here’s why you really need to check it out. It could do for short videos what Instagram has done for online images.

So how does Vine work?

Vine is basically an iPhone app. You downland the app and then either create an account – or sign in with your Twitter account. The app is split between two elements – creation and discovery. Creation enables you to shoot videos, discovery helps you to find videos about subjects you are interested in.

Just like Twitter Vine gives you a limit on the length of the content you can produce. Just like Twitter is up to 140 characters with Vine you get just six seconds. It doesn’t sound like much does it? But it works because of the very clever editing element incorporated within the app. You tap the screen each time you want to stop and start filming. The app then knits the various snippets of footage together.

This makes Vine really great for creating mini animations or shooting things from three or four different angles to get some perspective. Some enterprising types have been using Vine to show you how to create dishes with each stage lasting about a second.

It sounds cheesy, but in reality it is fascinating. Think of its as a mini movie or a GIF with sound.

The other clever part is that as the movies are only six seconds they don’t use a lot of data, meaning that you don’t need to worry about data charges.

So what else are people using it for?

If you got to the discovery part of the app you can then type in things you are interested in to see what type of videos people have uploaded. In many ways it is a fascinating glimpse of the web in general in that there are lots of pet videos, images of kids and quirky animations from creative types. You can also type in NSFW and get to see people in various states of undress just like our old friend Chatroulette.

I searched for Arsenal and found clips of recent goals, while looking for Morrissey delivered some interesting snippets from Smiths videos.

You can also make friends on Vine and get to see you friends’ videos when they are uploaded.

How does it work with Twitter and Facebook?

Once you have shot the video you get the option of sharing it on Facebook and Twitter as well as Vine. Make sure you tick the boxes because if you don’t at the current time there is no way of going back and grabbing it again. The videos are then attached to your tweets in the same way that Twitter grabs videos. They are run wit hthe sound down so to hear audio you have to flick a switch.

Where do I see the videos?

You can search on the app or using twitter (use hashtags like #myfirstvine). If you want to get a quick glimpse of what people are uploading go to the Vine Peek site and you are presented with a series of the latest Vines, these are not filtered though so you might get to see things that you might not approve of

Does it work on Android phones?

At the moment no. It is iPhone only, though it will work on an iPad if it has a camera. Twitter says it will roll out an Android app shortly. In the meantime there are some Vine alternatives here. Personally, and I am an Android user, I will wait for Vine to happen.