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New Vine app could work well in African context

January 29, 2013  »  WebNo Comment

Vine, the “video instagram” app released last week for iOS, allows users to create short looping videos (think part animated GIF, part tweet). The core belief here is brevity; posts are meant to be windows into the lives of people. Vine posts don’t necessarily serve a groundbreaking purpose. All videos are limited to 6 seconds in length and generally run under 1 megabyte in size. Right there is a good sign for users relying on spotty African bandwidth. Still, 1MB is immensely larger than 140 text characters.

The question remains: will an app like Vine have appeal in Africa? We’ve attempted to address pluses and minuses of the service.


  1. Requires minimal bandwidth to function
  2. Simple UI – essentially no learning curve to upload video clips
  3. Will soon be available for Android devices
  4. Compatible with Twitter and Facebook


  1. Currently requires iOS – something extremely rare in most African regions
  2. Ideally needs 3G network to quickly upload and play 1 megabyte of content
  3. African Internet is synonymous with Facebook and Facebook integration is lacking – still requires an extra click-through to watch, plus Facebook blocked the ability for Vine users to find Facebook friends on the service
  4. The service has been hampered by obtrusive adult content

Most likely, Vine won’t be widely used in Africa until it is available on Android and has better Facebook integration. Data limitations play less of a restriction here than compared to YouTube, but still will inhibit certain users from trying the service.

We’ve had a hard time finding African Vine posts, but we did find this one from South Africa:

Along with Malian musician Sidi Touré performing in London:

Would you consider using Vine? Let us know!

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