Vine: Quick Do’s + Don’ts to Make the Most of Six Seconds

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Media people love Twitter, so they love that their favorite social network is finally is getting in on video with an app called Vine. Here's how to do it well.

When I spotted Google Glass being tested out at my local coffee shop I was able to commit an act of journalism in a split second. Well, actually six seconds. That's the max length for a Vine. 

Ironically the app goes back to a very linear way of video editing (before everything was digitized) and you had to edit your shots in order. I love that — it’s a great mental exercise.  Keep these pointers in mind when filming your next masterpiece:


  • Film cinematically — Six seconds means you have to let the pictures do the talking. Consider a panning shot or using the stop-motion technique that the app lets you do so easily.
  • Remember that Vine records audio — Consider what the viewer will hear as well as see.
  • Think Before You Post — Don't automatically upload if you happen to witness (and film) something shocking. Take a moment to reflect. The real-time speed at which Vine works is sure to bring up some editorial and ethical questions very soon.


  • Don’t do a Vine just for the sake of doing a vine (unless it’s for practice or your personal feed). If it doesn’t add an element to your story, don’t bother.
  • Don’t forget to embed your Vine videos in blog posts. Your videos don’t just have to live on the vine, so to speak. Here’s how from
  • Don’t forget that all video (no matter how short!) needs to tell a story with a beginning middle and end. What will your caption be for your Vine? Figure that out and then, time permitting, do a quick storyboard in your head before make that green line move.

Who knows if the Vine love will last. I wrote a post last summer about Viddy, Socialcam, Tout and other video apps that were poised to be the next big thing and, well…

To see more ways of  turning your phone or laptop into a video content machine (GIFs! Cinemagrams!) just in time for Social Media Week and SXSW, join me and Muck Rack‘s CEO Greg Galant for a special online class on Spreecast. And follow me on Twitter @manoushz to see if I’m actually making social video (or just talking about it).