Business Technology

Thursday 2 October 2014

Video takes over for the selfie-obsessed

Published 25/01/2014 | 02:30

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Meryl Streep, Hillary Rodham Clinton...File - In this Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, file photo Actress Meryl Streep uses her IPhone to take a photo of her and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton following the State Department Dinner for the Kennedy Center Honors gala  at the State Department in Washington. "Selfie" the smartphone self-portrait has been declared word of the year for 2013 by Britain's Oxford University Press. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf, File)...A
Actress Meryl Streep uses her IPhone to take a photo of her and Hillary Clinton.

THOSE who thought they had caught up on social media trends by taking 'selfies' – self-posed photos shared online from their smartphones – may now find themselves behind the curve.

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The co-founder of one of the world's biggest online video services has told the Irish Independent that 'video-selfies' are set to continue their rise as an integral part of social media activity into the future.

Speaking exclusively to the Irish Independent, Vine co-founder Rus Yusupov said that the company had debated the question of whether or not to incorporate front-facing video features in the service, which is now owned by Twitter.

"We actually had quite a bit of discussion whether to include front-facing camera videos when we were making the service," said Yusupov, who co-founded the global video service with Dominik Hofmann and Colin Kroll.

"But we're seeing the effects of that now in the general community. It's really something that's taken off and sparked people's creativity and imagination."

Despite being just one year old, Vine is one of the fastest-growing video services on the internet. Downloaded as a free smartphone app, videos are limited to six seconds and are designed to be shared on Twitter and Facebook, as well as within its own Vine platform. The service is now a strong rival to mass-market photo and video service Instagram.

Yusupov said that forcing people to stick to six-second videos improves their quality and makes it easier for people to watch videos online.

"We knew we needed a time limit," he said. "So we spent quite a while trying out a bunch of time limits. In fact, we tested various video lengths, mostly from 4 seconds to 10 seconds but even as short as one second. We decided that the limitations of Vine are really what spawn creativity and that six seconds is the sweet spot."

Yusupov said several Irish firms are now using Vine to get more customers in.

"If you look at businesses like the Happy Pear Café in Greystones (Wicklow), it's doing some very interesting things on a day-to-day basis with Vine. I think it works really well in bringing people in. In general, we're seeing a lot of great content coming out of Ireland on Vine."

Yusupov declined to say whether Vine was currently in negotiations with corporate clients on more institutional usage of the video platform. However, several large sports and news companies now regularly use Vine as a way of communicating online.

"It's been an incredible year for us," he said. "We really see the short-form video playing a big role in the future of how videos are handled."

Irish Independent

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