Probably the best thing about Vine is the way you make your videos. From the home screen, you simply touch the camera button in the upper right, then touch anywhere on the screen to start recording. Just as with Instagram, the app only records while you're touching the screen, so you can record a very short clip, let go, then start recording again, and continue making clips until you reach your 6-second limit. But Vine is slightly better than Instagram when shooting video because you can touch anywhere on the screen, giving you a little more flexibility with your shots. Though the process seems simplistic at first, with the right timing as you cut to new scenes, you can create a really nice looping narrative -- even if it's only 6 seconds long.
On the viewfinder screen, there are also a number of advanced shooting tools that come in handy for creating more-polished videos. There's a tap-to-focus button, a grid (for maintaining level footage), and a ghost tool that helps you create seamless transitions by providing a semitransparent overlay of the last frame recorded. And, of course, there's a camera-switch button for going between front-facing and rear-facing cameras.
In a recent update on October 22, 2013, you can now save up to ten Vines at once that you can post at your convenience. That means you can record a video when you don't have a signal and upload when you do or record multiple Vines of the same subject and pick your favorite.
The process to save a session, as Vine calls it, is easy. Once you finish recording a video, you can tap the X button and select "save for later" from the pop-up menu. To view your saved Vines, tap the camera button and look for the little box with a number on the far right of the camera controls menu. The number represents how many video drafts you've saved.
Another feature added in the latest update is called Time Travel. It lets you delete and rearrange individual shots to create a completely different video.
When you're finished recording, you can post to other Vine users right away, then decide if you want to share your video on Facebook, Twitter, or both. Instagram lets you post to Facebook and Twitter, too, but also Tumblr and Foursquare. Vine's developers say there will be more places to share soon.
You can also reshare videos. So, if you've posted a video to Vine, and later decide to share it to Facebook or Twitter, you can do that. It even gives you the option copy a link to the video or e-mail instructions for embedding the video on a Web site. What Vine still doesn't do, though, is allow you to import existing videos into the app for sharing. Admittedly, this feature might take a while to incorporate, but it is certainly one that users are clamoring for.
While the newest version of Vine is undoubtedly a strong product, I would still love to see it take a few pages out of Instagram's book. For instance, video filters would be neat and a built-in image stabilizer would do wonders for the quality of videos being shared on the network. That said, though, there is something to be said for Vine's simple interface and commitment to being a videos-only platform. If Vine can continue to keep pace on the feature side, there's a strong argument to be made that it is, in fact, the better app for sharing short-form mobile videos, even if Instagram does give you 15 seconds.