A Whine about Vine

Yesterday I found out that Twitter has launched a new service called Vine which, on the face of it, sounds really good! Direct video uploading to Twitter just like you can do with images?

Scratch the surface, however, and you will see that Vine is a load of tut. I posted this tweet:

I would like to amend my basement there; Vine is not “borderline useless”, it is just useless.

First of all, I’ve major beef with this stupid 6-second thing. It’s a totally pointless, arbitrary limit; though you could say the same thing about Twitter and its 140 character limit, the difference here is that you can just about squeeze a cogent thought into 140 characters – can you do the same with a 6-second movie clip?

So inevitably Vine is not for anything interesting, but for “fun/random” stuff… great. What Twitter needs most of all is not better search or anything like that, but another means for idiots and nimcompoops to make themselves look like tw*ts.

I can understand Twitter limiting the clip length to save on storage space, but 6 seconds? Have I suddenly found myself back in 1994, when the whole notion of “web video” was downloading a grainy, pixelated, postage stamp-sized RealPlayer clip that was about 10 seconds long and took as many minutes to download on a screeching, screaming modem? There is this thing called YouTube nowadays that put paid to those awful, awful times.

Also, the videos repeat ad infinitum, and (thankfully) have sound muted by default, turning them literally into the something equivalent of an animated GIF. I say “ something equivalent” because I fail to see what Twitter has done to pioneer on the GIF with this feature, bar doing it slightly differently for no apparent reason.

I’m surprised in myself more than anything to have become a Twitter user to the degree that I have done; I aim to help promote my work with it and I’ve made some great friends, but this… solution looking for a problem baffles me. It really does.