Vine Twitter Videos: Where to Watch, Brands and the Future

February 15th, 2013

Snap. Click. Shoot. That’s what thousands of Apple iPhone and iPad users are doing with Twitter’s new video app, Vine“that lets you create and share beautiful, short looping videos.”

To compete with the growing popularity of Instagram, which was acquired by Facebook 10 months ago, Twitter answered back with it own standalone app and network that lets you make and share six-second video clips, similar to animated gifs, which are making a comeback among Generation Y. What makes the app unique, compared to previous video recording tools on any mobile device, is the ability to shoot clips in multiple shots and frames to capture several moments in any given time period, empowering users with the ability to tell an overall story rather than narrating only one moment in time.

Want to see what early adopters have created thus far? There are several Vine video search engines popping up across the web that provide continuous streams of recently uploaded Vine videos, as well as hashtag targeted search options to find videos of interest. Below is a list of the latest and greatest for your Vine viewing pleasure.

VineRoulette (Online)

For folks who know what they are looking for in a Vine video, VineRoulette features a useful search bar that displays dozens of Vine videos in an attractive collage display. When highlighted, the image will expand to display the full tweet and play the video with no clicking necessary. The downside, since there are a large amount of videos displayed at once and continually refreshing, it may take several minutes before videos are fully loaded before they begin to play.

Vineyard (Online)

vineyard-chicago

One of the newer sites out there and based out of the UK is Vineyard. It offers simple search capabilities that will display up to 9 Vine videos that include the searched keyword and/or hashtag. Once the site is fully loaded, all the videos will play automatically. To hear sound, simply hover over one of the videos and voila! Compared to other search engines, Vineyard does not automatically refresh with new videos. Also, one flaw I found was the site displayed the same set of videos even when refreshed. Appears to be some bugs that still need to be worked out.

Vinepeek (Online)

vinepeek-train-video

For those looking to fulfill their voyeuristic desire and don’t care what they see, Vinepeek is your answer. The site displays newly-posted Vines in realtime in one continuous and randomized stream. Simply visit the site, sit back and enjoy the world in 6 second clips. One interesting feature is the record option which allows you to save up to 30 seconds of viewed Vines. This may be useful for saving videos you find interesting, but doesn’t pose any practical use for brands or agencies as videos are random and can’t be filtered by hashtags or keywords.

All Around The Vines (Online)

all-around-the-vine

Similar to Vinepeek, All Around the Vines plays one video at a time in a continuous stream. One major benefit is not only the full screen display, but the ability to view trending Vine video hashtags. Although it doesn’t feature a search box, you can still search specific hashtags by modifying the URL. Simply add “/#KEYWORD”to the end of the ULR for a custom search. For example, if I wanted to search for #Blackhawks Vines, I would modify the URL as http://www.allaroundthevines.com/#blackhawks


Vines Map (Online)

Vines Map

Vines Map offers a unique perspective on where Vine videos are being recorded from around the world, but there is a downside; Vines Map doesn’t allow you to choose the Vines on the map you want to watch. With it’s restrictions on videos available for your viewing pleasure, it still offers a unique view on the most popular countries where Vines are created.

Just Vined (Online)

The least creative of the collage display formats and unfriendly when it comes to upload time, Just Vined plays the 20 most recent Vine videos all at the same time. The waiting time to load 10 Vine videos at once is bad enough.

You have the option to un-mute individual video and if you click on one of the videos, a pop-up will load its permanent page on the Web, but beyond that there is no identifiable information revealed about its originator. I’d recommend you stay away, unless you enjoy the chaos of several videos playing at once.

Vine Flow (Android)

If you’re an Android user who has been wondering what all the hype over Twitter’s Vine app is about, you’re in luck. A new Android app called Vine Flow allows Android users to browse Vine videos on their device. But there are some pretty big drawbacks to the app. Currently you can only browse the latest videos uploaded to the service, or search for a specific hash tag. You can’t upload a video yourself, log in and view a timeline, or even navigate to a specific Vine feed.

CNET How To : Vine Flow lets you browse Vine videos on Android

Brands and Vine

A recent Ad Age article focused on how smart brands have started to adopt Vine as new social platform for storytelling, while still learning how to work around the six second limit, similar to how brands needed to adjust to ways of communicating with fans and consumers in 140-characters or less on Twitter. The most popular uses for Vine include:

Behind the Scenes
Many brands already have different versions of the same video ad for different formats (such as a shortened pre-roll ad for Internet video edited from a longer-form TV ad). Vine can further complement this by making snippets of behind-the-scenes footage available where appropriate.

Location
One of the biggest advantages of Vine over other video platforms—most notably YouTube—is that it more easily adds geo location data to posts. This can get real interesting for local restaurants or other vendors looking to Vine as a way to draw in customers in the immediate vicinity… something to keep in mind when creating a Vine video.

Contests
Release new ads or other long-form videos in 6-second teaser segments unlockable only after certain follower or retweet milestones are met. This can be done as a ramp-up to the premier of the ad, particularly for marquee ads (like those unveiled during this last Super Bowl) or for other types of announcements.

User-generated content
Ask customers to submit Vine videos of themselves using your product, and perhaps even compile the best into a longer-form ad used on another platform.

Product demos
Short, how-to videos for products that can use either an extra hand in educating the public on how it’s used, or to showcase creative ideas for how to use a product that may not come immediately to mind.

There are sure to be other examples and lessons as Vine matures as a platform over time. With more than 500 million registered Twitter users, any experiment is sure to generate useful data for informing future best practices.

The Future of Vine

Until Twitter releases the app to a larger user base, specifically the 500 million activated Android smartphones that have have surpassed the current 410 millions active iPhones, it’s unclear if Vine will have the fortitude to reach the likes of Instagram’s growing popularity and easy user adoption. As you might have seen during your Vine searches, Vine videos, thus far, appear to be very amateur and without meaning, whereas Instagram allows any rookie photographer to create stunning and professionalism quality images with simple image filters. If everyone of these items is met, their may be hope, but it relies on its users learning a new way to record and share their lives — and on feeling that that is something they need.

What are some creative ways you’ve seen users and brands use Vine? Will you use Vine if it’s released to Android?

admin Social Media, Twitter, Vine

Top Online Movie Review Sites: Can Fan Ratings Predict Oscar Best Picture Winner?

February 8th, 2013

movie-review

What movie will you be seeing this weekend? Did you hear a review from a family member or friend who saw it the weekend before? Or do you like to follow the local press critic for influential insights on whether a film is worth the $10+ admission? If you’re like me, I try to avoid all reviews prior to seeing a movie so I can go into the experience with a clear mind and without expectations. But what if you’re not like me and you want to know, “what did everyone think?”

With a majority of the U.S. population now having access to the internet, 70% of online consumers say they trust recommendations from unknown users, while only 27% trust experts and just 8% trust celebrities. With at least 20 million moviegoers visiting online review sites, such as Flixster, user reviews play a key role in a person’s weekend decision-making centered on what movies to see. We’ll take a look at the top three online movie review sites featuring user reviews, along with a look at weather user ratings can predict the winner of the Best Picture at this year’s 85th Academy Awards.

Online Movie Reviews

Why care about user ratings? Most critics review movies for technical aspects of a film (i.e. editing, photography, and premise of the story), rather than the entertainment and escapism one most likely enjoys from their movie going experience. That’s where the user reviews come in-handy. Sure, no Adam Sandler movie will ever win an award from critics, but they entertain and provide 90 minutes of escapism from our daily lives. This sentiment is best portrayed by user reviews.  The same can be said for artistic films. While critics may rate a flick the #1 movie of the year, user reviews show that a majority don’t understand or enjoy the film for various reasons and it will probably resonate with most average moviegoers that might see the film because the critics “loved it.”

Rotten Tomatoes by Flixster

Rotten Tomatoes Flixter Django Unchained

Rotten Tomatoes Flixster Django Unchained

Probably the most popular and widely known resource of online reviews is Rotten Tomatoes. Not only do they provide a “Tomatomeeter” score, a visual graphic of a fresh or rotten tomato and aggregated percentage of “Tomatomeeter Critics” who have given the movie a positive review, they also feature a similar audience meter which displays the percentage of fans who reviewed the movie a 3.5 or higher (5 point scale). With it’s easy to understand visual ratings and mobile app that is accessible on-the-go when making that last minute decision while you wait for the waitress to bring your check; it ranks the highest on my movie review scale.

Metacritic

Metacritic Django Unchained

Metacritic Django Unchained

Utilizing a unique method of rating reviews, Metacritic created the “metascore” which converts each review into a percentage before taking a weighted average and listing a different number of reviews. These scores can differ drastically as Metacritic manually assesses the tone of the review before assigning a relevant grade to reviews with no explicit score. The site has received criticism for its weighted formula, which it has not released publicly, as it also provides scores throughout the entertainment industry, including video games, TV and music. Metascore aside, it does feature a color coded user score out of ten which provides moviegoers a glimpse at the overall rating by moviegoers who viewed the film. This score slightly differs from Rotten Tomatoes as they display the overall score, even if below average, versus a percentage of users who rated the film positively.

IMDb

IMDb Django Unchained

IMDb Django Unchained

Though not the most attractive site, The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has been the go-to site for movies since it was launched in 1990. With the most complete film and television reference on the internet, including films yet to be released, you would be hard-pressed in finding a moviegoer who hasn’t visited the site at least once.

Most widely searched for its database of movies, cast & crew listings, trivia, quotes and more, IMDb also features a widely used user rating with every movie listing. As a bonus to those who appreciate critic reviews, they also include Metacritic’s metascore, providing a centralized location for specific movie details and reviews.  With a high volume of traffic visiting the site each day, there is 30x the amount of user submitted ratings compared to Metacritic which provides moviegoers a better overall opinion on what the audience thought about a film.

Oscar Predictions

When looking back at the past five Academy Awards, only one non-animated film rated highest by fans did not win the Best Picture category; Juno lost to No Country for Old Men in 2007. Did you notice “non-animated?” That’s because in 2009 and 2010, animated films were added to the Best Picture category for the first time with an expanded 10 nominee format. Unfortunately, both Up and Toy Story 3 did not win Best Picture, which was not only the highest rated films by fans, but critics as well. Still, both films won Best Animated Feature, but it does shine light on the Academy’s demurral of animation as not being “real” with live actors. I could go on all day about this issue, but for a more in-depth look on this subject, I recommend reading this article by dfw.com that shares my similar opinion.

So, what are fans saying is this year’s Best Picture?  By a unanimous decision, everyone loves Quentin Tarantino’s latest film, Django Unchained. While an outstanding film, it’s unlikely to win based on the Academy’s previous best film selections.  In the end, no matter how loved a film is by fans, it still can’t predict who will win, but it can tell us who should win.

With Ben Affleck getting snubbed from the Best Director category for Argo and fans clearly favoring Django Unchained as their favorite movie of the year, this year’s Academy Awards on February 24th will certainly be interesting nonetheless and fun to watch with this year’s host, Seth MacFarlane. Just don’t forget, the next time you go to theater, be sure to check-in on FourSqaure and Facebook, collect the latest GetGlue sticker and silence you cell phone.

Make your Oscar picks and challenge your friends - http://oscar.go.com/mypicks

admin TV/Film, Word of Mouth

Protecting Your Brand From Negative Reviews Online

January 24th, 2011

Brand protection should be a key concept for any business when it comes to online conversations and reviews about you products or services through Facebook, Twitter, review sites such as Yelp, Angie’s List, Citysearch, etc., blogs and forums. We love to see positive reviews and recommendations, but sooner or later, you’ll receive a negative review regarding a product or services performed that will put you on edge.

Many brands’ first reaction is going to be “How do we get rid of this review?” This may seem like the simplest approach, but the key thing to protecting your brand is also taking responsibility for something that may truly be a defective product or bad customer service, especially when the review or comment holds water. Of course, some negative reviews can be fabricated and blown out of proportion with false facts and accusations. Over 90% of time, with facts to back your claim, you should have no problem having such negative reviews removed from reviewing sites and/or enough evidence to share through a public comment the true facts of the situation, what really happened, any non-cooperation by the customers based on the steps that were taken to assist them by the brand to make the situation better. From there, readers to any online channel will be able to determine for themselves the true nature of the situation and see that you have taken the necessary precautions to protect what no doubtingly is a false claim.

But what if by chance, the product did not perform correctly or services performed did not go according to plan? Here are some important key steps that can turn the worse review and unhappy customer into a happy or at least, satisfied one:

  1. Respond publicly acknowledging the comment - Doing so shows your brand is listening and is actively participating in the online channel
  2. Thank the customer for taking the time to write about their experience - Demonstrates the brands stance in encouraging open and honest feedback, both positive and negative
  3. Do not delete the review or comment -  By not deleting the comment, you are showing a high level of respect to the customer and demonstrating to your readers that your brand is willing to take additional steps to assist its customers and to “make things right”
  4. Inform customer that you will contact them directly to assist them further - Taking the conversation offline limits any further negative comments, allows the brand to collect further details regarding the situation, and allows for easier communication between the brand and customer either by phone, email or in-person

By following these simple steps, you’ll not only have the respect of your fans who already love your products and services, but also gain respect and hopefully continuing business with a customer who may have never returned or purchased a product again if they had never been listened or responded too.

Have a week!
Ryan Choyeski

More articles by me and my colleagues at Zocalo Group

admin Facebook, Social Media, Twitter, Word of Mouth