When Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) acquired Vine from developers Dom Hofmann, Rus Yusupov, and Colin Kroll in October of 2012, few predicted the success that Twitter would enjoy when it first released its iOS app in January of last year. Ultimately, it became the most used video sharing application on the market even before it was later released for Android in June 2013.
That popularity has left non-smartphone users clamoring for something similar, and their wait ended today with the announcement that Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) has launched Vine on the Web. Users simply need to visit vine.co and login with their existing Vine account. New users will be asked to register with little fuss.
What is Vine for the Web?
For the most part, Vine for the Web doesn’t change terrifically from the mobile apps that people have used exclusively until today. Users, once logged in, can view their home feed, comment and share Vines. The primary difference is the full-screen TV mode that will really give life to the six second videos that have made Vine the success that Twitter could only dream of when it launched the app for iOS just under a year ago. For all intents and purposes, its a full-screen mobile app.
The TV mode is activated by clicking a button in the upper right corner of your feed or any profile. In addition to full-screen viewing, the TV mode will play the chosen user’s Vines in sequence as well.
It’s all about TV mode
For now, that’s it and presumably won’t impress too many Vine users off the bat. This is, however, simply version 1.0 and the company promises new features later this year. “This release is just a first step toward bringing you a richer, more enjoyable web experience,” the company says. “We look forward to introducing more improvements in 2014.”
Someone unexpected is the fact that the first version is limited to viewing existing content. There is no option to allow for the use of a webcam, nor is their an option to use a laptop or desktop to upload videos that you’ve already taken from another device.
It begs the question of whether Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) is looking to keep Vine a mobile-first platform while also showing the world what happens when mobile apps precede services for the Web. It’s certainly conceivable that Twitter is just looking to drum up some buzz and simply see more people download the mobile app as the Web location is written up by the tech press.
Given its limited functionality out the gate, don’t be surprised if most people stick with the mobile app for the time being.