You’ve probably heard someone mention Vine or you’ve seen it pop up in your Twitter feed. For the unfamiliar, Vine is a simple mobile video app for creating brief 6-second videos of whatever you’re moved to capture out in the world. While some industry experts are saying they can see the future of Vine in marketing and photojournalism, at the current moment the most common applications seem to be the usual first subjects of new internet and social applications: cats, food, and pornography.

(That’s not to say that there aren’t people out there making great stuff with Vine, it’s just going to take some time for the cream of the crop to rise to the top.)

You can log in to Vine through Twitter, which announced its acquisition of the company on January 24th. If you’re not a Twitter person, fear not – you can still use Vine as a stand-alone app. It’s currently available for iPhone and iPod Touch, and it’s free to download and use.

For you small business marketers out there groaning and asking yourself if you now have to participate in yet another social app, we’re going to run through the pros and cons of this new contender, and you can judge its value for yourself.

The Good

–       It’s free!

–       Very easy to use

–       Integrated with Twitter

–       Produces very engaging social content

–       Uses already-familiar conventions like #hashtags

–       Lots of creative possibilities (there is some sweet stop-motion animation happening already)

–       Like everything else in the world right now, it’s mobile

–       Flexible in that videos don’t have to be 6 consecutive seconds. Stop and restart is easy.

The Bad

–       Very limited user control, no pretty filters

–       No audio editing options yet

–       Can only manually tag other users, no directory pop-up like Twitter, Facebook

–       We’ve already mentioned the adult content ( The app is now rated 17+)

–       Only available for iPhone and iPod touch right now

–       Privacy is pretty much non-existent

–       Sharing is mandatory. Anyone with the app can see your Vines, and anyone in the world can see them on (Warning: Vinepeek is unmonitored and sometimes NSFW)

The verdict? As with any new social app, Vine will take some time to hit its stride. But with some big brands already recognizing its potential for engagement, Vine has a lot of potential for marketers as well as individuals.

Have you tried Vine yet? What are your initial impressions?

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