The Knoxville News-Sentinel, Tenn., Rachel Wise column
Feb 24, 2013 (The Knoxville News-Sentinel - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
It might only be a month old, but the latest tech craze to hit the Web has taken off, captivating users six seconds at a time.
Vine, which some call a mix between YouTube and Instagram, is a new app that allows users to capture and share short, looping videos -- almost like animated GIFs with audio.
Released by Twitter and available on iOS devices, the app offers a simple and user-friendly experience. It takes only a few swipes of your finger to create one long clip or a video composed of several shorter clips.
"Posts on Vine are about abbreviation -- the shortened form of something larger," said Vine co-founder Dom Hoffman, who believes "constraint inspires creativity."
Frankly, Vine's premise confounded me since its release, and although it had been out for several weeks, I only recently gave it a shot. I was pleasantly surprised at what I found, both by the ease of capturing videos and exploring what others have produced.
Vine is being used in a lot of fascinating ways. For instance, Turkish journalist Tulin Daloglu used Vine to capture the terrorist attack on the U.S. embassy earlier this month. On Tuesday, production company Oscilloscope Laboratories released a feature-length film on Vine. The company posted its not-yet-released comedy "It's A Disaster" six seconds at a time.
"From the moment (Vine) launched ... it was so clear that (this) ... was and will be the future of film distribution," the company said in a statement. "We didn't want to be left out in the cold and we are proud to be an early adopter of tomorrow."
I've also seen clips of interesting time lapses, food prep and striking art on Vine. But what I've found to be most impressive, so far, are the stop-motion videos.
Jody Collins, Vine user and Knoxville resident, pointed to Mark Weaver's "Lego Vines" as one of her favorites. Weaver, a New York City artist, builds designs using LEGO blocks and posts the sequences on the app.
What's great is that Vine simplifies the stop-motion process so that even those who aren't technologically savvy can try their hand.
Kate Pettit, Vine user and Dandridge resident, said she also enjoys the stop-motion and humorous videos, but more than anything else, she likes the diverse creativity displayed on Vine.
"I never could 'get' Instagram, but I immediately could dig Vine," she said. "I am fascinated by what other people across the globe want to share of their lives."
Of course, the app is not without its pitfalls. Chris Sylvia, Vine user and Knoxvillian, said that while he was a big fan of the app, he couldn't help but note some of its drawbacks -- "the difficulty of finding existing social friends and the lack of content watchdogging."
Although the app initially had the option of searching your Facebook to find friends on Vine, Facebook has reportedly blocked this access, so users can only use Twitter and their address books to connect.
Then there's the issue of some users uploading pornographic clips. Vine has since added an age-restricted warning and disabled the #porn hashtag, but some critics say that's not enough.
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