Today, Twitter finally released its popular short-video Vine app for Android. Within minutes, Samsung had hijacked the app’s release for its own purposes.
Samsung started hitting the Vine release hard through its Twitter account a little less than an hour after the new Vine app was announced, using the hashtag #GalaxyVine to promote the download of Vine onto its Galaxy line of Android smartphones.
Samsung is not advertising the fact that Vine is, at long last, on Android. Samsung only wants you to specifically know that Vine is on its Galaxy smartphones, yet another example of how, for Samsung, it is not about Android, it is about what the Galaxy can do for you.
During Samsung’s completely over-the-top Broadway musical announcement of its new Galaxy S4 flagship, Android was mentioned just once as part of the specifications of the device (listed next to battery capability and camera megapixels). Samsung’s modus operandi is to push Galaxy first, Android… only if it has to.
The approach is evident in how Samsung has set up the user interface of is Galaxy smartphones. It has its own apps for email and contacts, calendar and notes. Samsung has even gone as far as to place a competing application store – the Samsung Media Hub – next to the Google Play Android app store on the Galaxy S4.
Samsung often highlights prominent third-party apps in its Galaxy universe. Apps like Dropbox, TripAdvisor, Flipboard and the Yellow Pages mobile app are all pre-loaded onto Galaxy devices along with classic standbys like Facebook and Twitter. But this is a different tack than pre-loading apps on Galaxy devices and using them in marketing campaigns.
By the looks of it, Samsung knew that Vine was coming to Android before it was released (or it has really clever and quick social media editors) and had the forethought to create the #GalaxyVine hashtag as well as the Vine video of a cartoon figure splashing in a pool. This is Samsung actively using an app announcement to its own advantage, repurposing Vine for Galactic domination.