The Vine app and platform received an update on July 1st, introducing a minor redesign of the Home Feed and a revamp of the Activity Feed that notifies you when you reach certain milestones. However, the most important announcement was the introduction of a new metric: Loops. This will change the way marketers and advertisers use Vine, and here’s why.
Unlike Twitter and Facebook, Vine doesn’t offer native advertising. That hasn’t stopped brands from advertising on the platform, thanks to partnerships with Vine influencers to create ads disguised as marketing campaigns and sponsored Vines. These Vine influencers with a large fanbase are a hot commodity for brands looking to reach a large audience on the platform. This explains the rise of “Vine agencies” that recruit talents from the video platform, thus working as a directory of Vine influencers for brands. A notable example of this is Grape Story, a “mobile-first talent agency” founded by Gary Vaynerchuk and Vine star Jerome Jarre. This agency, and the very few others like it, make use of “Vine celebrities” who have caught fame for being able to story-tell in 6-seconds. This is a skill that a lot of brands are going after, and advertisers love it: these sponsored Vines are like pre-roll ads that people are happy engaging with and sharing with their friends and followers without skipping. The only metrics that brands, advertisers and agencies like Grape Story used to have at hand were engagement-related: likes, comments and revines. The number of revines was often the main factor for payouts to Vine influencers – the more revines you get, the bigger the payout. Earlier this year Vine introduced web previews, making it possible for these advertisers to see how many times Vines were shared outside of the platform, to have a view of the social reach outside of Vine. Vine has gone one step further and introduced possibly the most important metric for display ads – loops. While Vines are limited by a 6-second limit, they do loop over and over again. This new metric now counts how many times people have viewed Vines from beginning to end – or in short, how many times Vines have been looped. Loops are different from Vine views – if you don’t finish watching a Vine, it won’t be counted as a loop. This makes Loops a robust metric for video marketing that can be used with other engagement metrics. This approach is reminiscent of YouTube’s analytics for audience retention, and Facebook’s recent introduction of Video analytics focusing on videos viewed for 95% of their total duration.
What About Spam?
Loop Count is the only directly controlled metric from Vine. While spammers can comment on Vines, those comments can be removed either by the Vine’s owner or by people who report the spammers, making this a manual task. Loops, however, cannot be abused in the long-term – Vine has already thought about ways people could gamify Loop Counts, e.g. embedding a vine in a page and leaving that page open, like this:
To counteract this, Vine has methods in place that remove “spam loops”. Due to this, loop counts may fluctuate for some users, as mentioned in Vine’s FAQ.
What’s So Special About Loop Counts?
The Loop Count is a metric specific to Vine. We’re already familiar with likes and comments, while revines are the equivalent of Shares on Facebook and Retweets on Twitter. However, Vine has now introduced a metric that is dedicated to the unique feature that only this platform has – the loop, the fact that a Vine will loop at the end of its duration, over and over again, until the user taps away, stops the Vine, or closes the app. So now you have a special metric, one that you can’t find anywhere else – you can use it to see how many people are viewing your Vine right this very moment, regardless of whether they’re viewing it on the App, on the web preview, or embedded on a website. This shows you real-time activity, similar to the real-time analytics from Google Analytics. Now advertisers have a solid metric to show the performance and virality of their content, making it even easier to justify budget that goes into the social videos.
What About Analytics?
Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Vine doesn’t come with an analytics dashboard. While you can manually count likes, comments, revines, social shares (from the web preview), and now the number of loops, you may want a tool that takes care of all of that for you. There are only a handful of tools out there that cover Vine analytics, Simply Measured being the first one that offered this feature shortly after Vine was released to the public – and best of all, it’s free: simplymeasured.com/freebies/vine-analytics One very important metric that is currently missing from Vine is reach – the ability to measure reach of video loops could make the move to Vine for advertisers even easier. However, advertisers can still play around with the available metrics to see their video performance. So, for instance, what if you have thousands of views, yet only a handful of social interactions? Or perhaps you have millions of views, yet people don’t find it share-worthy and it’s reflected by the low number of social shares and revines. You now have access to that information, to see whether your vines are getting the traction you expected.