One of the things we’ve always loved about Vine is the six-second limit it puts on videos.
Rather than restricting creativity, the social network’s constraints felt more like a funnel, channelling and challenging filmmakers into cutting out the dead wood and focussing on the truly important stuff. But things are changing. A bit.
Don’t worry – the six-second limit isn’t going anywhere, but users will now be able to “attach” longer videos to their regular loops, making them accessible via a “Watch more” button in the lower right corner. These attached videos can be up to 140 seconds in length (just like videos shared on Vine’s owner, Twitter), and can be made in the fullscreen format (either portrait or landscape) rather than Vine’s square aspect ratio. Viewers, meanwhile, will be able to double-tap to “like” specific sections of a longer video, rather than just the entire video.
In a blog post introducing the new video mode (which is currently in beta, essentially an experiment rather than a clear signal of Vine’s future), Vine urges users to look at the original six-second videos as “trailers” for the main attraction – the longer clip.
It remains to be seen whether longer videos will become a permanent fixture on Vine, but once again we’re seeing a social network switching up its game in an effort to boost – or retain – its user base. As we’ve seen repeatedly with Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, standing still isn’t viewed as a healthy choice among the Silicon Valley social media elite.