Vine has expanded beyond looping videos. Vine has introduced a new service where you send video messages directly to your friends.
The addition of private messaging comes with the ability to send short video clips to any contact on your mobile device – not just other Vine members. Of course, non-Vine recipients of these messages will be limited to send you text responses back.
Vine Product Manager Jason Toff says in a company blog post that this feature was something some users were already doing:
“From Vine’s early days, we recognized that there was a growing desire and need for private messaging on Vine. We’ve watched the community come up with some clever ways to send videos to their friends as we’ve been working on this solution.”
Vine messages can be sent to multiple users at once. However, all responses to group messages are recorded in individual conversations in your Vine inbox. You will also have the ability to block messages sent by users you don’t know.
To create a video message, you need only select the feature from the navigation menu on the Vine app. There’s one tap required to start recording a message, and another tap to stop. Recipients are selected from contacts stored either through Vine or the address book on the mobile device you’re using.
Originally, Vine was just a way of sharing very short videos with your followers, similar to the way social media platforms let you share updates with your network. Some small businesses began to take advantage of the unique format — quick, 6-second looping videos you can embed almost anywhere — and created marketing campaigns using Vine.
The direct messaging addition presents some potential new opportunities for businesses using Vine.
First, the group messaging function will allow you to send short messages to your co-workers. If you’re looking for everyone’s reaction to something, a video reply could give you more than just an emotionless text.
Second, if your business does have a Vine account already, you could try sending messages to individual contacts. Depending on the privacy settings your recipients choose for Vine messages, however, could determine whether they ever see your messages. TechCrunch’s Matthew Panzarino believes businesses could take advantage of direct messages Advertising, though, it could take time:
“This seems likely, but the built-in privacy controls should allow people to minimize that. If it does roll out to advertisers, I’d say it’s not likely to do that right away.”
More in: Twitter