Vine adds new features – and here's how to make your six seconds count

Read an expert's tips for filming the perfect Vine as the micro video service gets “biggest, most exciting” update yet

Vine, Twitter’s micro video service, has just jumped to version 1.3, adding a load of new features in what co-founder Colin Kroll calls its “biggest, most exciting update yet”.

There are improvements to both Vine’s camera and its social network side of things. The former has been given a big overhaul: there’s now a grid option, the ability to touch an area to set focus, and a “ghost” mode to aid framing when filming a new clip (it gives you a transparent overlay of your last shot, which you can line up in the viewfinder to ensure a seamless cut to the next shot).

Revine and explore new channels

On the social side, users can now “revine” clips to share with their followers (as you’ve probably guessed, this works the same as retweeting on Twitter) and protect their Vines so that they can be seen only by approved followers. In terms of Vine discovery, you can now browse an On The Rise section of new users that are starting to make waves with their videos, and submit your own to or browse one of 15 themed channels including nature, comedy and music.

The update is available now for iOS users, and all features will be on the Android version next week.

How to film the perfect Vine

So you’ve got Vine, got the new features and are ready to become a micro video sensation. What next? We recently caught up with top Vine film-maker Matt Swinsky, whose creepy “Close Shave” Vine bagged an award at the Tribeca Film Festival, to pick his brains for six second masterpiece tips.

Preparation is key

“Close Shave took us about 15 minutes to set up and 45 minutes to shoot. We typically don't storyboard any of the Vines we shoot but come up with a visual effect we would like to achieve and then figure out any dialogue, sound effects or camera techniques during the shoot.”

More after the break...

Six seconds can be unforgiving

“When you mess up it’s all the way back to beginning, but the first time we shot this one we found only a couple things we wanted to add or take out. I'd say the hardest part is deciding when to start filming and when to stop. Having to get a shot right in under a second or two leaves so many factors to go wrong.”

Accessories widen your options

“I have an Olloclip (£60, store.apple.com) which has been the staple of almost every single Vine we do, and I recently bought a telephoto lens. I do have an assortment of lighting equipment but haven't dug too deep into lighting Vines yet. As Vine grows I find myself investing more time and money into iPhone accessories.”

Depending on the type of clip you’re filming, we’d also recommend some kind of support to keep your phone steady (essential for stop motion-style Vines). The Breffo Spiderpodium (£15, breffo.com) does a great job of this.

Experiment and have fun

“There are so many simple things you can do to make your Vine stand out. Use household objects to see what they can do to bend your image. We’ve messed around with stereoscopic techniques, prisms to warp the image and, of course, fake blood. The best tip I can give, though, is to make something you and your friends will enjoy.”