Vine’s new features may help it with marketers but could repel its teen audience

Vine's new import video feature

In the app lifecycle, Vine is rapidly maturing with more than 100 million people viewing the 6-second clips every month, compared to “less than 50” two years ago. Vine founder Dom Hoffman tweeted the new metrics Wednesday, as the company announced a suite of expanded features.

The new features include a way to import existing videos into Vine, a preview button for easily seeing your most recent clip, and handful of new camera options like a “torch” setting for dark shots.

The features show that Vine is evolving technically, but also show how the company is thinking beyond its user base, and as a platform for marketers. After all, at some point the app needs to make money.

As the LA Times pointed out, the new import video feature is particularly compelling from an advertising perspective since, instead of having to shoot within the app for just six seconds, you can film to your heart’s content and pick the best parts later.

In other words, companies can employ high production value videos and still share them through the Vine network. Before, a company like Gap with millions in an advertising budget at its disposal was stuck with the crummy camera phone quality of everyone else who creates Vines.

Being able to import higher quality videos – and the branding opportunities that come with it – will shift the look and feel of Vine. The scrappy sense of creative upstarts shooting on their phone will be replaced occasionally by a more polished appearance. Such videos might appear inauthentic and staged alongside classic Vines.

It’s possible teens – Vine’s key audience demographic — will be repelled by new, professional branded content. After all, they’ve shown a strong preference for video in its most raw form. They like YouTube stars more than Hollywood celebrities, preferring the “realness” of the social medium over television’s staged content.

Since teens tend to flock to where the rest of the world is not, what will they think when the corporate world brings high production value to Vine?

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