Five things to know as you get started with Vine

Get the lowdown on Vine with this hands-on video and five must-know tips for getting started with Twitter's new video app.

Screenshot by Sharon Vaknin/CNET

As a social network built on keeping things short and sweet, it's no surprise that Twitter released today a secondary app that lets users (Twitter and otherwise) shoot and upload 6-second videos.

Of course, no later than a few hours after its launch,  Vine  was already being called the "Instagram for video," as users began sharing short clips of kids, stop-motion drawings, food, and, of course, puppies.

Currently, Vine is only available for iOS, but Twitter assures users that its app will be coming to other platforms "soon."

The app is pretty simple to use (and get addicted to), but before you dive in, watch the getting started video above to get the lowdown on how Vine works, and read these must-know tips as you get started with the new app.

1. Your videos are public. No matter what.
Let's get privacy out of the way first by saying: there really isn't any. Unlike Instagram, or even Twitter, which allow you to set your profile to "private," Vine doesn't offer a way to shut out users.

Anything you post on Vine is public, and can be shared by you (and others, should they grab the link to a Vine you tweeted or shared on Facebook.)

NBC News asked Twitter about this very issue, and, after being pointed to a help article on the Vine Web site, NBC was told that the company would be adding more ways to control who views your content in a future release.

2. Use tags to take advantage of the Explore section.
Head to the Explore section in the Vine app, and you'll see that (like Twitter and Instagram) discovery and curation are built around tags.

Select a hashtag from the tiled collection, and you'll see a feed of videos whose authors included that tag. Likewise, if you search for a tag at the top of the Explore screen, videos related to that tag appear, too.

But don't be limited to the tags Vine included in its explore section -- you can search for, and tag your videos with, whatever you want. So as you upload videos, include relevant tags so that your videos are more easily discovered. (Just don't go crazy -- there's little worse than a 20 lines of tags.)

3. Get creative with cutting and sequence.
Unlike traditional home videos, like the ones you might shoot on your smartphone, Vine videos don't necessarily need to be shot starting with "point A" and ending at "point B."

The app lets you pause the video and reposition your camera at any time, so it's easy to get creative with Vine. There are many examples, but a whole slew of stop-motion video and interesting montages have already shown up in the app. Here's just one example:

4. Vine will likely see major improvements.
Right now, the feed you see in the home screen is a little sad. Although you can like, comment, and pause videos (just tap!), there isn't much functionality beyond that.

As Vine expands, we should see improvements, like the ability to share videos from the feed, and even tag friends in comments or posts. Another key improvement will likely be the option to remove comments, a la Instagram.

5. "Vining?" "Upload a Vine?" "Vineyard?" We're not sure just yet.
As the app made it to the iPhones of the CNET newsroom, conversation quickly turned to questions about Vine's nomenclature.

Are videos "Vines?" Or, do you upload a Vine video? (We ended up settling on the latter.)

As you browse Vine, is the home feed a "Vineyeard?" Will we soon tell our friends, "You should vine that!"?

Only time will tell, but for now, all that can be said is that the hype around Vine's launch is plentiful, and for those of us who are into sharing moments of our everyday life, that's pretty Vinetastic.

 

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