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The Pros and Cons of Using Video App 'Vine' for Marketing

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If you use Twitter -- professionally or personally, or both -- you've probably seen an increase in six-second looping videos in your feed. They come from Vine, a new mobile app from Twitter that lets iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad users create and post short video clips to Twitter and Facebook. Simply point your mobile device, touch the screen and the app records up to six seconds.

What makes Vine different from other video recorders is the ability to stop and start the recording instantly. Lift your finger, the recording stops. Touch and it starts again, right where you left off. This allows you to create frame-by-frame animations or a montage of images on the fly.

But because the clips are only six seconds long, some marketers still aren't sold on Vine's value for brands. Here's a look at some of the pros and cons of using Vine for marketing a business:

Related: 3 Social Media Lessons from Ford

Pros: A Popular New Format

Images attract attention and moving images can attract even more attention. That makes Vine a viable marketing tool. It's a cross between graphics and video -- a high-level version of the traditional animated GIF.

Six seconds doesn't sound like enough time to make an impression, but it might just be enough time to share a quick marketing message. Red Vines, the licorice candy maker, used the app on Valentine's Day to send a sweet message. Café Moka, a Virginia Beach, Va.-based coffee house, used Vine to display its coffee-related art.

You can use Vine to create a mini-product demo or personalize your brand with video of your employees performing a simple action. If you need help coming up with ideas, consider challenging your Twitter followers to submit their own branded Vine videos.

Cons: Quality Control
Right now, Vine's biggest drawback is its reputation. Four days after launch, a pornographic image was featured in the "Editor's Picks" section of the app. iTunes responded by removing the app from their "Editor's Choice" listing and Vine was forced to change the app rating from "12 and up" to "17 or older."

Though the majority of videos that appear in the Vine feed are family friendly, this is un-moderated, user-generated content and Vine's terms of service don't prohibit pornographic content. That means that your customers could come across unsavory videos if they use the app on your recommendation.

The other potential problem is saturation. Vine is enticing and easy to use, one might be tempted to upload a dozen videos a day. Marketers need to think twice before uploading a collection of poorly thought-out videos. Reward customers for their click by offering fun and creative videos so they come away with a positive image of your brand.

Related: Twitter's Video-Sharing App Weathers a Stormy Launch

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