Credit: By flatworldsedge on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

After video platform Vine added the possibility to count how many times each six-second video has been 'looped', Mashable emerged this month as a top ten brand on the platform, the only media organisation to make Business Insider's list.

Mashable's main Vine account, featured on the list, has a loop count of 13.9 million, but Jeff Petriello, producer creative at Mashable, told the publisher has three more accounts, including one for technology with almost four million loops of its own.

"My team will go through the list of articles [due to be published] and decide which are ones that we could possibly make something for, and then create content around those," he said.

"Most of the time we're hoping that they'll actually be useful for the piece itself, and they'll wind up embedded in the post or at least serve as a useful promo that can be tweeted with the link so you have an additional visual."

On Mashable's technology account, Petriello said the media organisation also 'revines' its tech editors, who post while out in the field or when receiving new gadgets.

Mashable also did a collaboration with an animation studio around the iPhone 6 announcement, when they 'live gif-ed' the event and created a number of Vines that were embedded in posts on the site.

The publisher has also launched an account around events, and has a fourth account where it uploads Vines that "don't make sense in an of themselves", such as visualisations of DIY steps meant to be embedded in an article.

Petriello said Mashable cares about putting resources into new platforms, and he has the possibility to work with artists on a daily basis, but a lot of newsrooms might not have these options.

Know what you can do

"It is really useful for your newsroom to be equipped with the skills," he said, "and at least know what is possible on the platform.

"Since the last update there's so much more you can do since you can upload your own video, and I don't think people are aware of that.

"I think it's a really powerful tool and I love the way that it integrates really well as embeds in posts or as media cards on Twitter."

He said media organisations can be "publish-trigger shy" when it comes to online platforms, but with Vine it's important to practice and learn what tools are available.

Petriello gave some quick Vine tips to the Online News Association. Video from the Online News Association YouTube channel.

Another obstacle publishers face when trying to work with Vine, he said, is the high number of comedy videos and visual tricks on the platform.

This can make news organisations question the value of the platform and whether they should be involved or not.

But Petriello said Vine has been used for "very serious news," like NowThis News posting quotes from senators, or reporters covering Ferguson posting Vines from the scene.

"It's also really great for quick, on the ground video, that doesn't need to be edited, that you just want to get out there in a tweet. And it really doesn't take a lot of time to do that."

Start with the visuals

A key step for producing a good Vine is to think "video first", and build the story around the element that you want to visualise.

"A good Vine is one that you want to keep watching," he said. "It's not a story, it's not a tweet, it's a little tiny loop that should look good.

"So you have to have that idea going into it and that sort of mindset, which can be difficult for people who haven't worked in video before."

Practising with the tools available within the app, like the ghost tool or levelling tool, can result in interesting visual stories, he said.

Build a community

Once a publisher starts producing their own content, building up a community is an important next step. Mashable runs regular Vine challenges for its followers, and uses them as a way to prompt interaction.

"Revining, for instance, people who participate in our challenges really showcases the kind of community we want to build," he said.

But Vine can also be a resource for newsrooms in a similar way to Twitter, as tweets are seen as "social assets" and embedded into online stories by journalists.

Looking at Vine from this angle was a good way to start and learn how it works, he said.

"It's a great cultural filter for what's happening in the world," he said, "and I don't think in general the industry really gives it enough credit for that."

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