Reasons to get Twitter app Vine: think mix of YouTube and Instagram

Vine is like a combination of YouTube and Instagram. It just takes a few touches to make a six-second video that can be shared on Twitter. Here are the top 10 reasons you should be using it.

An aggregator site, Vinecats, has already been set up to pull every cat video from Vine into one place - in real time. AFP
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The new Twitter app Vine is fast-eclipsing Instagram as the next big thing to hit social media. Install the free app on your iPhone (an Android version is still in development) and it just takes a few touches to make a six-second video that can be shared through the microblogging site. Vine's selling point is ease of use: it allows for stationary objects to appear as if they are moving through the use of "jump cuts", although there are no options for filters or editing.

Here are 10 reasons to give it a go.

1. For breaking newsThe Turkish journalist Tulin Daloglu used Vine to capture the aftermath of the terrorist attack on the US Embassy in Ankara in early February, while in the United States, NBC tweeted a Vine clip of a dolphin stuck in New York's Gowanus Canal. The method is easier for journalists than shooting and uploading video conventionally and more vivid for readers than a snapshot or text.

2. Keeping up with celebritiesPaul McCartney has been running quizzes on Twitter, using Vine to capture himself playing a riff on a piano or giving visual clues and getting fans to guess the song and respond. Sports teams, celebrity talk-show guests and newspaper editors have tweeted "behind the scenes" Vine clips that give unprecedented access into their lives.

3. For a fashion fixInstagram never quite worked for fashion week, as TheAtlantic blogger Esther Zuckerman noted: the photos are always too blurry and incomplete. But a whole designer's collection or a model's strut can be captured clearly and succinctly using Vine.

4. To market your businessEveryone from General Electric to Gap has already jumped on the Vine bandwagon in order to promote their brand. Clips with emotional content, such as an Urban Outfitters video titled What it Feels Like to Have a Bestie, are the most likely to go viral.

5. To document your dinnerAs a satirical cartoon on the blog Willa's World jokes, Instagram used to be the place where we took pictures of our sushi. Now Vine is what we're using to film our sushi being made - or eaten. There are going to be almost as many food Vines as cat Vines. Sorry, world.

6. For super-quick how-tosThe first Vine video posted by Twitter chief executive Dick Costolo (@dickc), a few days before Twitter announced it had bought the app, was a very clever, six-second demo of how to prepare steak tartare, with jump cuts between each stage of the process. There's an origami demo on the Twitter feed of crafty type Hunter Harrison (@hunrharrison). Expect more handy how-tos to follow.

7. To show off your adorable petYes, there's inevitably a lot of this. An aggregator site, Vinecats, has already been set up to pull every cat video from Vine into one place - in real time.

8. To make a mini-masterpieceWe're not just talking about making your stapler "magically" crawl across your desk. The possibilities - particularly when it comes to stop-motion - are endless. Search for #vinception to see Vines of Vines of Vines (and so on) that might make your brain explode.

9. To people-watchA woman opens a delivery of flowers. A politician makes a speech about gun control. A violinist tunes up. A new baby smiles. Vinepeek (one of several Vine aggregator sites, including Justvined and Vineroulette) allows a kaleidoscopic look at humanity and all its preoccupations.

10. For the lolsIt takes a special kind of talent to be funny in six seconds. A weird, funny Vine post by Tyra Banks, in which she incorporates the word "Vine" into some of her sassiest catchphrases, has been doing the rounds, and Funny or Die has posted a list of its favourite Vine-using comedians, including Kurt Braunohler, Reggie Watts and Felicia Day.

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