NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Late last year, I riffed positive on what Marissa Mayer and her team at Yahoo! (YHOO) did with Flickr. I still think Flickr will absolutely annihilate Instagram, if it hasn't already. Mayer noted a 25% daily increase in Flickr photo uploads and engagement on Monday afternoon's Q4 conference call.
, it's been dead to me. I no longer use it. Even worse, I rarely click on Instagram links in Tweets.
I must concede -- for as much as I appreciate what Mayer did to Flickr, I hardly use it anymore either. I think I know why. It has everything to do with convenience, ubiquity and accessibility. That's where Twitter should place focus vis-a-vis its new (and excellent)
app. I'll get to that in a second, but let us consider why Vine is so damn good in the first place.
If you have or have had young children, you might appreciate this.
The other night - actually morning - my nine-year old daughter crawled into our bed at roughly 3:35 a.m. I did what I always do when I wake up in the middle of the night. I pulled my iPhone out from underneath the pillow, launched Twitter to see what I missed while sleeping and play a quick game of
before dozing for another hour or so. As that process commenced, my kid said, "Open the Vine app for a minute."
I told her about it that day. She liked it and, at 3:30 in the morning, she had the urge to create a quick six-second video clip. Apparently she planned on stealing the phone to capture a series of my reported snores. Anyway, Vine resonated with her. And, while she's a sample of one, I've got a feeling about this app.
I like it as well. And, as it bubbles up from below the surface -- Twitter really hasn't promoted it very heavily at all -- Vine will get big. To ensure that this happens, Twitter needs to -- getting back to convenience, ubiquity and accessibility -- seamlessly integrate Vine into its platform. Make it not only convenient to use, but even easier to access. Additionally, it needs to show up in the most-heavily viewed portions of the Twitter interface.
That's why I don't use Flickr. When I snap a picture, I usually want to have the option to share it on a social network, usually Twitter or Facebook. If I don't want to share it, I just use my iPhone camera and save it to my camera roll/photostream. So, why open up Flickr or Instagram if I can a.) share a photo straight from my iOS camera roll or b.) take it in Twitter using my smartphone camera
attach it to a Tweet instantly?
Same goes for video and Vine. After the novelty of Vine wears off, will I go to it specifically, as a standalone app? Absolutely not. It will end up an afterthought just like Instagram and Flickr.
However, if Twitter makes shooting and sharing a video a seamless experience that comes part and parcel with creating a Tweet (just like it does with photo taking and sharing), it will become a staple. Again, I use my phone's camera and/or Twitter directly to do most of my photo taking and sharing.
If Twitter can accomplish this -- and there's no good reason why it can't or shouldn't -- it will do two things: Make taking/sharing video cooler than taking/sharing still photos and, in the process, throw both Instagram and Flickr for a loop.
--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.
Rocco Pendola is
Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to
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