The pros and cons of using Vine

Many brands are jumping to use Twitter’s new video app, but is it worth the time and effort to learn a new platform? Here’s what you need to know.

The buzz keeps growing around Vine, the video-sharing application Twitter rolled out in January. The app, currently compatible with the iPhone and iPod Touch only, allows users to capture and compile several frames into a 6-second looped video.

Shortly after Twitter unveiled the app, Ann Handley of Marketing Profs raved, “Here’s the truth: I haven’t been this excited about a new social platform since I joined Instagram two years ago.”

Handley isn’t alone in her excitement about Vine. Brands have been quick to jump on the bandwagon. General Electric, “Wired,” “Rolling Stone” and Urban Outfitters are only a few of the recognizable brands that have integrated the latest social media craze into their overall marketing strategies.

Though Vine has been receiving a tide of positive feedback, is it worth saddling your business with yet another social media platform?

Here are the pros and cons of Vine versus more established video platforms like YouTube.

Pros:

1. It’s easy to use.

Vine’s selling point is its ease of use. The app takes seconds to learn and is so easy to use that marketers are almost crazy not to. The beginning tutorial is 30 seconds long, and you can create videos at the touch of a finger—literally.

2. Its brevity focuses creativity.

Users can only make six-second videos, and post-production is non-existent. Vine’s time limitation plays to the app’s advantage, because the average attention span of an adult is seven seconds. This time limit also forces brands to tell their stories in a creative and concise manner.

3. It allows for extensive reach and integration.

Vine allows you to share videos on Facebook and Twitter, as well as embed them on a blog or website. This ability offers brands the opportunity to extend their reach to a larger audience and integrate marketing efforts over several platforms.

Cons:

1. It presents monetizing challenges.

Vine’s time restriction presents marketers with the challenge of creating monetized value. Marketers can pair YouTube videos with ads and/or banner ad overlays, but how do you fit an ad into a six-second video?

2. It doesn’t allow for effective calls to action.

Another major hurdle the time restriction presents is the challenge of incorporating an effective call to action. Generating leads will be extremely difficult without an easy way to link from the app to additional information.

3. It has platform limitations.

Vine is limited to mobile, particularly iOS (the software that powers Apple’s mobile devices). This ostracizes brands’ customers and potential customers who do not have iOS. With such restrictions, is the app worth marketers’ time?

Vine has a long way to go before it can contend with YouTube as an effective marketing tool. However, Vine has a lot of potential and could give YouTube a run for its money once Twitter irons out a few kinks.

Laura Spaventa works at Help a Reporter Out (Vocus). A version of this article originally appeared on The Vocus Blog.

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