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Vine opens up new marketing opportunities with Android app

Twitter-owned Vine has launched an Android version of its popular video-sharing application, signaling a continued interest in the platform from marketers and consumers.

Given the app?s initial attraction with brands on iOS devices, the expansion to the Android operating system is a step towards getting the platform to scale for marketers. The app is available for free download from Google Play.

?I wouldn't say [the mobile-social video space is] becoming more fragmented, but it is becoming more saturated,? said Ian Smith, director of engagement marketing at mOcean, Los Angeles.

?In a lot of cases, the same user base shares multiple social platforms and often sees the same brand message in multiple places,? he said. ?This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it does require the marketer to utilize each platform a little more carefully.?

Mr. Smith is not affiliated with Vine. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

Vine did not respond to press inquiries.

Expanding its reach
Vine originally launched for iOS devices earlier this year with an app that lets consumers create and share six-second videos.

Vine claims to have accumulated 13 million users, according to a blog post from the company.

While the basic principle behind the shoot-and-share app is the same on Android as it is on the iPhone, there are some features that are unique to the Android version of the app.

For example, a new zoom feature is exclusive to the Android Vine app and lets consumers get a closer look when shooting a video from far away.

However, there are also several features ? such as push notifications, an option to flip a camera into a front-facing angle and the ability to search for people and tags ? that are only available in the iPhone version.

According to Vine, these features will be rolled out shortly for Android devices.

The app supports devices that run on Android 4.0.

Mocial growth
Video platforms that let consumers shoot and share short video clips have made a splash in the mobile space this year.

Marketers have been eager to get into this space to tap into these engaged consumers, too.

Brands such as Taco Bell, Dunkin? Donuts and Urban Outfitters regularly post on Vine and run contests to interact with consumers.

Dunkin? Donuts recently launched its Vine page for a contest that rewards a lucky fan with a year of free iced coffee, for example (see story).

However, fragmentation and scale are still issues for marketers in the space.

As the number of video platforms available to marketers continues to grow, knowing where to distribute video content where a brand?s consumers are most likely to be is tough.

?One of the biggest challenges is capturing the attention of a user,? Mr. Smith said.

?How can we maximize message impact in five seconds ? or six in the case of Vine ? and still have it somehow convert?,? he said.

?I think that'll be our challenge for a while, but there are some good case studies out there already proving it can be done, like Lowes? use of Vine.?

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York