Since its debut a little over six months ago, Vine has been a hot topic for companies and their social media teams. Recently, the application’s novelty has been called into question now that powerhouse Instagram has introduced 15-second video capabilities. Should marketers be getting behind Vine, and how could it tell a company’s story?

In its young life, Vine has become a focus of conversation for many social media users; this meteoric rise to fame is in part due to its parent company being the ubiquitous Twitter. Many found Twitter’s purchase of Vine to be a response to the Facebook acquisition of Instagram, as the filtered squared images became more difficult to share on the Twitter platform. Vine was a great hit, with companies jumping on board in a matter of days. Just last month, however, Instagram updated their application to offer the same functions that Vine touted. It seemed then that it was only a matter of time until Vine phased out.

Yet, it’s been more than a month later and there still seems to be an active presence on the Vine application. In part, this is due to Vine shaping their user-experience around the principles of Twitter to make a seamless, integrated social media package. Where Instagram boasts 15-second clips, Vine’s 6-second version is more in line with Twitter’s succinct 180-character tweets. It fits the philosophy of Twitter of quality over quantity, as well as better serving short attention spans.   Vine also has reposting capabilities, mimicking the retweeting function of Twitter. One can also use the “Explore” function that pulls popular hash tags in the comment section into definable categories such as “Comedy”, “Art & Experimental”, “Beauty and Fashion”, “Health and Fitness”, “Sports”, etc. to find videos from users that one may not necessarily be following and thus see in their feed.

The unique features of reposting and exploring are a crucial point for marketers. These functions help broaden exposure, where a user has a greater chance of seeing a clip despite not following the company. Instagram fails companies because the clips only reach those who are actively searching and following the accounts.

So how can a marketer utilize this application?

To begin with, it cannot be your traditional advertisement. Nicholas Megalis, currently the most followed user on Vine, says on CNBC “If you’re going to make a Vine for a company, it can’t be an ad – it has to be a Vine. It has to exist as something that’s rewatchable, fun and exciting. It can’t just be a bland soulless commercial.”

Some of the best commercial vines have been used in a multitude of ways: engagement, new product development, attracting customers to your conference booth, telling a story, promoting a contest, etc. Check out some great examples compiled by Kristi Hines on Social Media Examiner to spark some inspiration for your organization.

Happy Vining!