What Happened: Despite rivals galore, Vine is growing like kudzu on a clammy summer day in Georgia (as if there is any other kind). In less than two months, the short-video curator has exploded by 207 percent to 40 million users from 13 million at the beginning of the summer. And it only started in January. What explains this phenom, given the competition from Instagram, Snapchat and the like? Vine turns your smartphone into a portable comedy club. Users just love to make funny six-second videos with their iPhones or Androids that viewers can loop endlessly if they so choose, the Los Angeles Times suggests. In contrast, Facebook’s Instagram has taken the high road, attracting more arty photos. And like the song goes, Vine’s getting to Scotland afore ye—and Instagram.
What This Means for Brands: The lesson for brands is a simple one: Don’t take yourselves so seriously. Vine shows us that people want to laugh and look for opportunities to do so. This isn’t to say brands should give up on providing quality content for slapstick. But they need to understand that even the most momentous message is more likely to be read and remembered if there is a hint of humor or irony. It also reiterates one of the reasons why social has resonated: People like to create and express themselves—in this case, visually. Give them a voice and a platform. Of course, the other more mundane lesson—it won’t hurt to use Vine as your message board.
Contributing to TRENDING this week are Lucy Arnold, Jenna Carter, Abby Ray and Torrey Vaughan. Edited by Pat Wechsler.