How BBC staff are experimenting with Vine

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If you're clued up with the social media world, you'll probably know that Twitter recently launched the video app Vine.

If you're not, you'll need to know that the free app allows users to create short videos that can be embedded in a tweet.

So short that they only last six seconds.

As BBC News Online reports, it's not the first mini-video-sharing service. There's Tout, which allows users to post 15-second videos, and Cinemagram, which creates animated gifs out of photos.

But Vine - currently only available in the Apple app store - has the backing of Twitter, which increases its impact.

Various BBC teams and staff have been experimenting with the format.

Political correspondent Robin Brant shared his pithy summaries of last week's Prime Minister's Questions during the exchanges, concluding that it's "perfect in the middle of an ongoing exchange/event I think for us".

The idea came from Millbank online editor Alex Hunt, who thought Vine was useful for "getting almost live analysis in handy little video snippets".

He said they experimented with it to see if:

  • it was possible for a political correspondent to give any meaningful analysis in six seconds
  • the system worked
  • the Vine videos could sit in live coverage
  • there was an audience appetite for them
Limited scope?

Other BBC staff to use Vine include World Have Your Say presenter Ros Atkins and the team at From Our Own Correspondent, who filmed a short promo for their Radio 4 programme.

Fooc producer Michael Wendling told Ariel: "Who knows if this is going to really catch on or be anything more than a fad, so we thought we'll get in there early.

"That said, it was fun and I think we'll try a few different ones."

Marc Settle from the BBC College of Journalism thinks Vine videos "have a limited place in the armoury of a journalist - for behind-the-scenes footage, teasers and the like".

"For citizen journalists, Vines are easy to create and upload; putting video on Twitter previously wasn't as easy as this."

In his blog he writes that issues around duration and keeping shots in focus could limit the service.

"It'll be interesting to see whether Vine indeed becomes the 'next great newsgathering tool', or whether the initial buzz passes and it ... withers on the vine".

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