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Why are Vine videos 6 seconds long?

Published Oct 25th, 2013 3:15PM EDT
Vine Video Interview

Instagram tried to crush Vine when it added video-sharing to its popular mobile service, and initially it looked like the company might succeed. Vine is still going strong, however, and the firm’s iPhone app sat at No.17 on Apple’s top free apps chart in the U.S. at the time of this writing. While people continue to enjoy making brief 6-second video clips and sharing them on Twitter, a question remained: Why did Vine choose 6 seconds as the limit for its videos? In an interview with NPR, Vine co-founder Dom Hofmann provided an explanation.

“One day we did wake up and say, six seconds,” Hofmann joked while speaking with NPR. He says the company played with a number of different durations including 10 seconds, nine seconds and five seconds. Five seemed too short, according to the executive, while six seconds “allowed for the aesthetic feel the creators wanted but preserved the quickness they wanted to promise users,” NPR’s Laura Sydell wrote. “The limit allowed the average person to easily share and make a video on his smartphone.”

After some testing, however, the Vine team found that something was still off and the videos were ending too abruptly.

“The next thing that we noticed was that the videos start quickly but they also end very quickly and that felt anti-climactic,” Hoffmann said. “It didn’t feel right.” The answer, they decided, was to loop video playback.

How did it work out in the end? You tell us:

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.