Cartoon Network made headlines recently with the news it had become the self-declared first cable channel to release a full episode of a show on Vine. The move comes about a week after Vine announced it was increasing the limit on videos from six to 140 seconds. As expected, video playback works pretty smoothly, but as was noted in the announcement, longer videos appear first as six-second teasers with a prompt to watch the full thing on the other side of a click.
That’s a great form factor. It allows for longer videos but doesn’t require them and, when browsing through a feed of Vine videos, doesn’t get in the way or require more of the audience than what was already in place. Meaning when you’re going through the feed it’s just a series of six-second videos, without a long one popping up and ruining the flow of things.
It’s similar, then to how many publications have begun approaching mobile content, with a couple of paragraphs visible when you load a story and then are presented with a “Read More” button to finish the rest of the story. That’s not new – “Read More” options are widely used across the web, but it’s something more publications are using to gauge which stories are really getting people’s attention and interest, forcing them to take a positive action in order to read the entire story after getting the gist of the news.
It’s also similar to how many movie trailers these days have begun starting off with four or five seconds of footage before the trailer actually starts. That’s an adjustment being made to account for how video is displayed on social networks like Twitter and Facebook, where someone might see it in their feed or timeline but with the sound off and in the middle of something else, so pushing a bunch of the “best” footage out of order to get people’s attention.
This is largely the same thing, asking creators to make their best appeal right up front, within the confines of the six-second limit. That should then make value proposition to the audience to click through and view the whole thing. That’s a different approach for the creatives who have made Vine into a niche powerhouse of very inventive filmmakers and one they’ll have to get used to.