vines
Vine, the microvideo app launched by Twitter in early 2013, has become an increasingly popular place for viral videos, in both engaging with viewers, promoting content or a publishing platform in itself.

Richard Beer, creative director at Don't Panic, has been experimenting with new ways to use Vine since its launch, and shared some of his key lessons as at the FIPP Innovation forum in London today.

1. Stop: collaborate and listen

"Collaborate with people who already have success with and listen to their ideas," said Beer.

While videos on platforms like YouTube can be shared, embedded and picked up by broadcasters the world over, Vine is a much more "insular" network, said Beer, so it is important to connect with people who are making waves on internally.

"It's not so much reaching out to people to help share content," he said, "but in getting those who are already successful on Vine to help you create that content."

One of Don't Panic's most successful Vines was created in partnership with "some of the UK's most successful Viners" he said.



2. LOL WTF?

"There are two ways to go viral," Beer said, and the first is to be funny.

One of the reasons for Vine's success is the fact that works perfectly as a medium for comedy, he said, as the six-second limitation is generally only enough "for a set-up and a punchline".

It is also a clever what-did-I-just-see medium in that, when it launched, users couldn't upload video from external source so the only way to make a video was to film it from a mobile device.



Vine have relaxed the rules since with software updates, but a surprising, entertaining element often leads to success.

The above video has been tweaked in post-production, said Beer, and although some "hardcore" Viners are averse to digital assistance, the overall effect is the same.

3. Be spontaneous

Vine is "not about high production values or even a good story", Beer told Journalism.co.uk.

"You're not going to take a month collaborating and making a script that is perfect."

Instead, be spontaneous and and make something that is immediately relevant to the topic, he said. Vine is "brutally fast-moving", in a similar way to Twitter, so a Vine video that goes viral tends to only be popular on the network for a day or two.

As a result, thinking and acting fast in reaction to topics and ideas becomes more important, he said.


4. Aim low

For the same reason, content creators on Vine should not worry about any top-quality production values. Although "you can massage the ideas", the video itself can be quick, spontaneous and with as much quality as the situation will allow.

"It's the kind of video you would shoot on a night out, or when you were a student, he said, "or an idea you think of in the shower."

The video for "Filth", above, was filmed behind Don't Panic's offices in London, with the art director at the time donning a police officer's costume for the part.

5. Stay open-minded

Vine is a unique medium, Beer told Journalism.co.uk, as a "video viewing app, a social network and a video recording device" all rolled into one.

Twitter didn't fully know how people would use Vine when they launched it, and people will continue to experiment and find new ways to use it.

"There's a new generation of people," Beer said, "content creators with no formal training or restriction in that sense who can come from anywhere with any influence.

"No one really knows what Vine is capable of or what people are going to do with those six seconds," said Beer.

So, as with any medium, being aware of some of the key players, who is successful and – more importantly – why they are important can help to keep abreast of the topic and pick up new ideas.

Update: This article has been updated to clarify a quote from Beer about collaborating with successful Viners.

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