How to search for Vine videos and kill even more time at work

Making Vines is easy. Searching for them outside of the app? Not so much. Here are some solutions

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Ouya unboxing on Vine

Image credit: Vine/John Davila

Vine, the Twitter-owned social network based around sharing looping, 6-second videos is all the rage these days. Like Twitter, it’s got lots of content not worth seeing, but also some gems and people worth following to see what they’re creating. Problem is, unlike Twitter, though, Vine is, essentially, only an app, with no corresponding web site where you can easily peruse Vines and Vine creators. 

The app itself, currently only available on iOS (but reportedly coming soon to Android), lets you search for people or find content based on hashtags. The app also makes it easy to share a Vine you like on Twitter or Facebook, or email yourself a link to the Vine to view it in a browser or grab the code to embed it in a web page or another social network. If you don’t have the app, though, or you’d like to find Vines just sitting at your computer (because, really, who doesn’t  need yet another thing to distract them from work?), there are some solutions available.

1. Third party Vine search tools 

There are a couple of them out there, such as VineViewer and VineRoulette (heads up: requires Silverlight). However, I found both to be kind of clunky and slow, as they actually load the Vines that are returned from your search.

2. Search Google for Vines

I’m more interested in something that lets me review the results a little more efficiently, like in a nice list format. So, the next option is to go ahead and do a Google search against the vine.co domain using the desired keywords or hashtags. For example, to look for Vines tagged with Ouya, search "site:vine.co ouya"

This works, but now the problem is you only get a list of links to the Vines found without the actual Vines themselves; clicking on one takes you to another page to view it. It’d be nice, I think, to be able to view the Vines right there in the results list.

3. Search Twitter for Vines

This is my favorite option to search for Vines. Just search for “vine.co keyword” on the Twitter website and you get a nice results list and the ability to view any returned Vine right there in the list, without linking off to another page. True, not all Vines get posted to Twitter, but most do (it is owned by Twitter, after all, so it’s easy to do), so searching for Tweets that contain links to Vines should give you pretty good coverage of the Vine universe.

Voila! Now search away.

Do you have a favorite method for searching and viewing Vines outside of the app? Let’s hear about it.

Read more of Phil Johnson's #Tech blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Phil on Twitter at @itwphiljohnson. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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