In recent months Vines have been used to report on stories from the riots in Ferguson and the Scottish referendum to last week’s student protests in London. Video filmed in the app is low resolution and, obviously, very short, so the video file is small and can be uploaded to the internet with a relatively weak connection.
Thomson’s Vines from Sierra Leone caused a stir on Twitter. People weren’t used to seeing six-second snatches of video, usually reserved for comedy, being used to document such serious subject matter. But his use of Vines to record snapshots of the situation seemed to work – “Your coverage of the Ebola outbreak has been fantastic. I understand the situation much better because of it”, one Twitter user tweeted to Thomson.
I see it, for now, as an appetizer — “I’m here, gathering the story. This is the setting. Stick with us, you’re going to want to learn about this.” — or as a distributor of soundbites.
But a lot of people use Vine far more creatively than I do. How would you use it for news?