Brevity is the soul of Twitter, as the saying goes. And that doesn’t just mean pearls of wisdom parceled out over 140 characters. 

On Thursday, Twitter introduced Vine, a New York startup that the company acquired last October. Vine, an app that allows users to create six second long animated GIF-like video loops, never launched on its own, but finally hit the iOS App Store under Twitter’s wing. Unlike an Instagram picture, Vine videos are happy bedfellows with Twitter cards – you can view them in the Vine app itself or right in the midst of your Twitter stream.

Six Seconds, No Filler

Creating a video on Vine is actually pretty fun, even for someone averse to Web video content. To record a video, you hold your finger down on the screen. To cut to the next portion of your abbreviated masterpiece, lift your finger and hold it down to record again. The result is a playful little micro-video perfect for sharing – you don’t even have to wait that interminable 26 seconds to get to the good part when the kitten snuggles up to the puppy. It’s all snuggling, all the time. 

“Posts on Vine are about abbreviation — the shortened form of something larger,” according to a post on Vine’s blog. “They’re little windows into the people, settings, ideas and objects that make up your life. They’re quirky, and we think that’s part of what makes them so special.”

A Media-Rich Vision Of Twitter Cards

Interestingly, Twitter seems content to let the company live on as a standalone app, for now at least. After creating a video on the app, a prompt pops up to share to not just Vine’s parent company, but Facebook too. 

Vine is an intriguing remix on the Twitter philosophy. In extending the concise essence of a tweet to video, Twitter could open up any number of new multimedia doors. And with hit services like Snapchat trading in ephemera, short is sweeter than ever.