Video sharing platform Vine now gives users the ability to send video and text messages privately. Along with the new update, released yesterday, users can now change the colour of their profile page in settings.
Twitter’s video sharing network Vine has gained traction for allowing users to share 6 second videos publicly. We’ve previously highlighted how brands are using this short video platform to engage with customers for creative Vine marketing.
Now, with the latest update users can reach out to their friends’ 1-to-1 through either videos or text messages. The feature is available immediately to those who download the app update on mobile. It’s not particularly sophisticated at this stage and there is not yet a capability to allow group chat, but you can send videos to anyone in your phone’s contacts, whether they have installed the Vine app or not.
Vine users will now be able to receive messages from anyone, although messages from people they do not know or follow will appear in a separate inbox titled ‘other’. Users who wish to eliminate this inbox can do so by going into their settings.
The move to private messaging is not surprising as other popular social networks have been pushing private messaging in recent months. Most notably, Snapchat and Instagram both offer similar private video messaging capabilities.
The biggest question here is whether brands and advertisers will be allowed to utilise this new messaging feature. When asked about this, Twitter said only that: “Vine messages are available to all users.” I interpret that as a yes, a brand with a Vine account will be able to message users.
It is important to take note of the built-in privacy controls which will give users the ability to minimise branded messages and adverts if they wish.
Wherever Vine goes from here, it is apparent that the service wants to be more than just entertainment and move more towards a social platform.