When Twitter launched its stand-alone short video sharing site people were fast to pick up on its potential in a number of areas. From 10-seconds of comedy to quick-fire marketing stunts, it was clear that the platform was going to offer plenty of entertainment value.
Times have changed.
With falling user numbers and plummeting inbound links to Vine, some experts are already discussing the URL’s imminent extinction. But a less-talked about, yet rapidly rising use for the social network is journalism, with news agencies, freelancers and members of the public turning the trademark brief running times into concise and hard-hitting messages about issues ranging from Ferguson to the Hong Kong riots and ebola. Here are five clips that prove our point, so take a look.
1. Ebola – Man carries sick wife 5 miles to hospital, and is turned away
Channel 4 reporter Alex Thompson’s document of the ongoing health crisis in Africa caused a stir when it appeared on Vine, giving a rare on-the-street insight into how catastrophic the situation is becoming with resources stretched to breaking point. 2. Ferguson – State Senator asks the #Ferguson police chief if she’s going to be gassed again.
Although Vine is full of clips from the frontline of the social unrest current making headlines across America, we think this behind the scenes footage of a press conference in which a Missouri politician confronts the Ferguson police to enquire if she is going to be gassed again is the best example of reportage currently available, dispelling myths of mindless violence and confirming those being effected include educated members of the perceived establishment.
3. Hong Kong – Drone footage of protests
Revealing images China doesn’t want the world to see, BuzzFeed’s Vine channel used drone footage from @appledaily_hk to convey just how widespread the anti-governmental protests taking place in Hong Kong actually are. 4. Fire on 24th Street
Major events will always dominate the news agenda, but one of the biggest strengths of Vine is its potential as a platform for citizen journalism. Take this clip, for example, recorded by a San Francisco resident, which shows a downtown building ablaze before the fire brigade, or any TV stations, have arrived.
5. Black Friday queue at ASDA
Finishing on a (much) lighter note, this video was posted today by BBC Broadcast Journalist and Producer Richard Main, showing the somewhat overwhelming queue of people waiting to get into a London ASDA store this morning to make the most of the Black Friday sale- if nothing else it helps answer the question ‘should I bother trying to get in’?