Vine moves beyond Twitter with new embed feature

Twitter's mobile video app now lets users post anywhere on the web

By Zach Miners, IDG News Service |  Internet

Vine's branching out. Videos made with the trendy Twitter-owned mobile app can now be posted anywhere on the Web.

Previously, Vine posts could only be shared within users' networks on Vine itself as well as on Twitter and Facebook. But with an update launched Friday, users can now pull the embed code for any post to embed it on pages across the Web.

The update, which includes some other minor performance improvements, appears designed to broaden the app's reach while still retaining its in-the-moment, personal storytelling vibe.

"When we launched Vine, we described posts as 'little windows into the people, settings, ideas and objects that make up your life,'" Dom Hofmann, Vine's cofounder and general manager, said in a blog post.

"With today's update, you can display them almost anywhere," he said.

There are two ways to grab the embed code with the update: It can either be pulled from a post's page on vine.co, or by using the latest version of the app that was made available Friday.

In the new version of the app, users can tap the "..." button in the lower-right corner of any post within Vine to either share it on Twitter or Facebook, or access a link directing them to a webpage with the embed code. The webpage will generate a different embed code for the video depending on how large the user wants it to appear, and whether it is displayed in a simple, bare-bones fashion or as a "postcard," like how it would appear on Vine.

The new functionality works for users' own posts as well as others'. Vine acknowledges the possible privacy concerns: The embed code options are only available for posts that have already been shared on networks outside of Vine.

Here, for instance, is the page for a Vine video shot this morning by the IDG News Service at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

The post-anywhere features work similarly to the embed functionality already offered by YouTube. The features also raise some questions over whether they might weaken Vine, or Twitter's, grip on its network of users as they see more videos outside the sites. Vine did not immediately respond to comment on these issues.

Twitter launched Vine in January as a mobile video sharing service allowing users to create and post six-second looped videos. It's super-short, in-the-moment style mimicked the way many people already use the site for 140-character messages.

Friday's update also fixes an issue that caused the camera to freeze when starting a new recording, and resolved a bug that caused the camera to record without touching the screen, Vine said.

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