Creating a custom Vine video

Vine Video
Creating a custom vine video for business

What’s this Vine Video all about?

It’s time to admit it… I was one of those who thought Vine video was just another gimmicky social media platform that was going disappear quicker than it appeared. It hadn’t even shown up on my radar until Twitter bought Vine Video out at the end of 2012 for a reported $30 million (source Vine Video Wiki) – but even then I couldn’t quite see what all the fuss was about. Isn’t it funny, this all changed the moment I had a call from one of my regular clients asking if I could produce a Vine video series for them. Of course I could – and I’m now well and truly hooked!

Vine video website
Vine video website

Vine video was originally an iOS app that enabled you to create short, looping videos with your mobile device and then upload and share them. By the beginning of 2013 it was available on Android too – but it really started coming alive when the web version was released in May this year. The maximum clip length is 6-seconds (just over apparently) and the simple Vine video app enables you to compile your video (with sound) in bursts or as stop-frame animation. Once completed you can then add descriptions and tags and share your Vine video through Facebook and Twitter (and others) – or embed it on your website.

You might be reading this and thinking that Vine is nothing new as you can do pretty much everything here with YouTube. However, the main way that Vine video differs is by it 6-second time limit and looping playback which lends itself to different content to YouTube. The content on Vine video also differs as it has to be created via the Vine app (well not really but I’ll come to that) and the camera within the device. You can of course make things easier for yourself (and make better Vines) by using accessories on your phone such as external microphones, lens adapters, tripods… but you’ll see that much of the content on Vine is basic, low production value content shot by normal people using their basic device and nothing else – other than a creative mind!

You’ll also see some pretty spectacular 6-second films which will have you wondering how they shot them using just a phone or tablet. You’ll also come across more and more Vines which were obviously not shot on a phone. These are what are commonly referred to as ‘Custom Vines’, and are generally pretty highly polished films that have been shot and edited professionally and the user has been able to circumvent Vine’s normal upload process.

Creating a Custom Vine video

Vine’s current inability to upload externally produced videos has been a major frustration for users and had resulted in a few third-party solutions that enable you to fool Vine into thinking the content you’re posting was created within the app. I’ve not used this, but one of the first of these was a free iOS app called ‘Uploader for Vine’. There were also other ways you could manually kid Vine by replacing the temporary video files created prior to publishing with pre-created content. But now there’s a really simple Google Chrome extension that does the job really neatly – namely Vine Client. Using Chrome, simply go to the website and activate the extension, open a free account and link it to your Vine account and you’re off.

Vine Client
Using Vine Client to upload your custom Vine videos

The technical spec for Custom Vine video file is reasonably straight forward and achievable with any half respectable editing system – but must be adhered to for a trouble-free upload. The file needs to be less than 5Mb and between 3 and 6.8 seconds in length. They recommend using MP4 using the H.264 codec (but there are other file formats they’ll accept) – with a square format pixel dimension of 480px by 480px at a maximum bitrate of 1,200Kbps. The audio should be 64 Kpbs bitrate, 44.1 Khz, 2 channels, AAC. An audio stream needs to be present, even if silent.

Once you have your formatted files it’s then simply a case of logging on to Vine Client and uploading it – job done! I suspect that Vine will eventually cave in to users’ demands and build-in the ability to upload Custom Vines directly (or more likely monetize that process) – but until they do this process seems to work quite well.

Start having some fun with Vine Video

Like other users my first attempts were video doodles created within the app itself. I’m a big fan of Instagram for photos and occasionally use its video tools too (apparently there are tools/processes to enable you to create Custom Instagrams as well – see useful reference site here about difference), but I think Vine’s simplicity is what has won favour amongst its rapidly expanding user base. Creating Custom Vines though opens up a whole new world of video fun.

Nipper Clipper Vines

Getting back to where this all started, my client Stylfile (one of Lord Sugar’s enterprises headed up by Apprentice winner and inventor, Tom Pellereau) wanted to create a collection of Vine videos to celebrate the first anniversary of their Nipper Clipper baby and toddler nail clipping product (see blog here). Having produced a number of films for them about Nipper Clipper and other products in the Stylfile range, the thought was to produce a series of Vines based on existing footage which had the potential to generate viral interest.

The first Nipper Clipper Vine appeared on 17th June to coincide with the product’s launch in 2013. Happy Birthday Nipper Clipper! More will follow in the series – so keep an eye on Vine.