Five Things Twitter Can Do to Improve Vine Right Now

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So Vine, the app that allows users to share six second videos and has recently reached the 13 million user milestone, was just released on Android. Vine is owned by Twitter and has been on iOS for a while now.

Of course, when an app owned by Twitter tries to change the mobile video game, people take it seriously. I am no different. I have been using Vine for a few months now on iOS and installed it on my Galaxy Note as soon as it was released for Android. The concept is actually very interesting to me and the things people do in six seconds of video is actually pretty astounding. Then, there is the actual app, the execution, which needs some serious work, and that is me being nice.

Here are five immediate steps Twitter should take to improve the user experience in Vine for iOS, and even the new Android version:

5 Wait, What Do You Mean I Can’t Use My Own Photos?

This one is actually hard to believe. There is no way to select your own pictures or videos that you shot outside of Vine to create a Vine video. Um, this is kind of a no-brainer, and one that is totally needed if Vine wants to become my go-to app for sharing video, like Twitter is for short messages. Forget releasing Vine on other platforms, first add this elementary functionality

4 If You Don’t Like Your Own App…

OK, open Vine on your phone, now hit Explore, then Editor’s Picks. When was this section updated? As I write these words, 29 days ago! Wait, are you telling me the Editors of Vine have not updated the section for nearly a month? Wow, I guess they really enjoy the app. Now, how do you expect people to keep coming back if you don’t perform the most basic maintenance tasks such as updating the content? Seriously, Vine, you got the discovery, people have heard of Vine, now work on the retention and keep the content fresh.

3 Here We Go Again…

What is the first question you asked when you joined Twitter? “How do I know who to follow?” Yep, same issue in Vine. There are so many interesting people to follow but the discovery is flawed. I am not even going to talk about the lack of a Facebook option to connect with friends (see number one). There is the Popular Now section and the trending topics, but still, searching those sections and your Twitter contacts for people to follow is not a great option. Twitter has started sending emails with recommendations of people to follow on Twitter. They have also begun recommending others to follow who are similar to a person I just followed. Not saying these are great options but Vine needs some better discovery tools.

2 What Year is This Again?

Remember how YouTube videos would sometimes buffer for minutes before playing? Well, the truth is, even today, YouTube videos do not play as smoothly as expected, but the loading time of Vine videos is a whole new level of slow. I thought it was just me, but alas, it is not. That ridiculous loading sign when trying to watch a Vine video can drive a person crazy. The video is 6 seconds and the loading time seems to be an eternity. Oh, yes, I might have ADHD, but that is not the point! Please, Twitter, fix those performance issues like yesterday.

1 Take the High Road with Zuckerberg

So Zuckerberg bought Instagram and one of the first strategic moves he made was burn Instagram’s relationship with Twitter. After all, it is a competing platform to Facebook. Hey Zuck, grow up. Instagram pictures no longer appear in Twitter cards and even worse, when tagging someone in an Instagram picture, the tag is removed in the tweet, which makes the person who posted it look unprofessional. Now, I don’t know if this was Twitter’s decision or Zuckerberg’s and I genuinely don’t care but Vine has to take the high road here. When sharing a Vine video on Facebook, it appears as Activity and not as a video. That means, it shows up as “X has posted a video on Vine,” which draws a whole lot less attention than a big video player in the stream. Less Facebook engagement means less eyeballs on Vine and while I get that the two are competing, engagement is a common goal, so please fix that, Twitter.

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