We have long stated that video is the next frontier for PR pros, and that the ability to create and embed video into a brand communications will be a necessary skill in the future.
With the news that Twitter acquired Vine, a mobile service that lets users capture and share short looping videos and embed them in their tweets, the future is now. PR pros, armed with just an iPhone, can now (somewhat easily) integrate short videos into their social media campaigns.
Whether or not this will be the video-based equivalent to Instagram remains to be seen, but with Twitter's backing, this may be the strongest contender. Brands like Urban Outfitters, Gap, Lucky Magazine and PBS are already experimenting with the platform.
Videos on Vine loop endlessly, like GIF images do, but with Vine users can opt to include audio. "Posts on Vine are about abbreviation—the shortened form of something larger," wrote Dom Hofmann, co-founder and GM of Vine, on the Vine blog. "They're little windows into the people, settings, ideas and objects that make up your life. They're quirky, and we think that's part of what makes them so special."
While it is a Twitter-owned property, Vine is a standalone app that must be downloaded—it's not included from in the Twitter app. Within the Vine app, users shoot and edit their clips, and then share the final product on Twitter and Facebook. (The Twitter integration means that for users browsing their Twitter stream, they can view Vine videos without leaving Twitter.com or the Twitter app on their mobile device.)
Chris Brooks, manager of social engagement at Hilton Worldwide, says Twitter's acquisition of Vine is the latest acknowledgment of the value of tools that deliver succinct content that fits into people's busy lives and attention spans. "On our corporate digital media channels, we're always looking for ways to stand out and deliver compelling content that is brief but also engaging, and integrated services and partnerships like this provide new and interesting ways to do that," Brooks says.
PR pros who are able to hone their messaging and create compelling advertorial content will have the best chance of having their videos seen across Twitter.
— Gap (@Gap) January 25, 2013