SOCIAL NETWORK Twitter stepped up its game with the launch of Vine, an Instagram-like video sharing application, on Thursday.
The INQUIRER was quick to download the free iOS app - it's not available on Android or Windows Phone 8 yet - to see if Twitter's social video application could be the next big thing, and whether it could take the microblogging service's battle with Instagram to a whole new level.
The first thing we noticed about Vine was how simply designed it was. Sure, it's clearly taken tips from Instagram, with its slick news feed and hashtags galore, however the thing that struck us most was that Vine looks nothing like Twitter, despite the microblogging firm having launched the application.
Using the app is really easy, too. Vine allows you to record up to six seconds of footage, which although it sounds just as frustrating as Twitter's 140 character limit is remarkably effective. To start recording, you simply hit the camera button in the top right corner, and tap the screen. The longer you hold your finger down, the longer the footage you're recording. It's as simple as that.
mixing gnarly basslines today vine.co/v/b55LOA1dgJU— The Glitch Mob (@theglitchmob) January 23, 2013
However, we have spotted a few tiny niggles with the app, which is more than understandable given that it made its debut in the App Store yesterday.
The first is that Vine doesn't autorotate, which means you have to record footage with your iPhone held horizontally otherwise footage will appear sideways. You can't import video from your iPhone's camera reel either, so there's no way to 'Vine' prerecorded footage.
Another gripe we found was the app's social network integration, which we found a little disappointing.
Once you've recorded your GIF-like footage, there's an option to share this via Twitter and Facebook. However, we found this only worked half of the time, no doubt due to the app experiencing some early bugs and niggles.
We had the same issue when trying to find friends to add on the app, You can ask Vine to scan your contacts, Twitter and Facebook for chums - but most of the time we were greeted with an error message rather than a list of our acquaintances.
However, we shouldn't let that tar our image of Vine, as we're sure Twitter will roll out fixes shortly.
Overall, Vine is excellent. Not just because of its slick design and ease of use, but because it brings a whole new art form to social media. If this isn't the next big thing, we'll gladly eat our hat.
It looks like that Facebook issue might not have been a bug after all, as rumour has it that the social network has blocked Vine mere hours after its release. We've contacted Facebook for further information. µ
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ