Twitter unveils new video-sharing app 'Vine'

Vine allows users to create single-shot and multi-shot six-second videos, with debauchery sure to ensue.

What's better than 140 characters? How about a six-second video?

That's the theory Twitter will be testing with Vine, the free video-sharing service it bought in October and that it debuted last night. Vine allows users to create and share six-second videos that play on a looping cycle. 

Twitter CEO Dick Costelo hinted at the two companies' integration last night by tweeting out a fast-paced (and delicious-looking) video of a steak tartare-prepping demonstration that he constructed with Vine.

In morning blog posts, both Twitter and Vine announced the actualization of their new partnership, and gave users a sneak peek of what functionality they'll be experiencing.

"Posts on Vine are about abbreviation — the shortened form of something larger," Vine co-founder Dom Hoffman wrote on Vine's web site. "They're little windows into the people, settings, ideas and objects that make up your life. They're quirky, and we think that's part of what makes them so special."

Hoffman was joined by Twitter VP of Product Michael Sippey in ushering in the new Twitter/Vine partnership. The Twitter VP trumpeted the creative license Vine gives users.

"Like Tweets, the brevity of videos on Vine inspires creativity," Sippey wrote on Twitter's blog this morning. "Now that you can easily capture motion and sound, we look forward to seeing what you create."

Vine users will be able to construct more than just a six-second video with the app. Vine videos can be a single shot, or short clips from multiple shots. The result of that idea is a shareable digital flipbook. Though there's no stop or play button, users can halt the loop by clicking on it.

To demonstrate, Sippey posted three Vine videos below his blog post — one featuring three shots from a family's trip to a park, another with three clips from mixing basslines on a sound machine, and lastly a series of illustrations packaged into a digital "flickbook."

Vine will be available on the iPhone and iPod touch, and can be downloaded in the Apple App store. It's not exclusive to Twitter owners, either. Hoffman reported on the Vine blog that the app will continue to be stand-alone as well.

Up until today, Twitter's October acquisition of Vine had been shrouded in mystery, with neither company speaking publicly about the future of the app. In the past, Twitter had supported embedded YouTube content, but never hosted its own videos.

According to digital gurus All Things D, Vine was simply a three-man operation at the time of its purchase. Prior to purchase it had received about $1 million in investments for technology development.

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