Vine’s new ‘Watch’ feature turns channels into binge-worthy content streams


What if Vine were more like TV?

The beauty and purpose of Vine was the creation of tiny, six second videos; self-contained moments of interest and, often, absurdity. Now Vine, which is owned by Twitter, wants to, perhaps radically, change our Vine viewing habits with the introduction of one, simple “Watch” button.

The button, which Vine introduced in a blog post on Wednesday, will live beside Follow. You can hit it at anytime to, essentially, binge-watch a Vine user channel like a TV show. The newest Vine in the profile will play, followed immediately by the next one and so on and so on. Depending on how many 6-second clips the Vine star has produced, you could be watching a channel for minutes or even hours.

The new Watch option will not appear as part of Vine embeds, so you can’t start binge-watching Vines in Twitter or on someone’s website. In addition, the Vine app will still default to the old-fashioned format — discrete six-second clips that you can scroll through, each one looping endlessly while you keep it in view.

Plus, even in the new Watch mode, loops, which Vine actually keeps track of, are not gone. You can tap and hold on any one of the Vines to play it again.

While the Watch post stream will default to newest first, you can still use the “Posts” menu option to view from oldest to newest or in order of popularity.

You’ll also find the Watch button on the “For You” channel, which Vine introduced late last year. Now you’ll have the option of playing those six-second clips from disparate creators in one, steady stream.

This seemingly small change could have a big impact on not just the Vine consumption experience, but creation, as well. The opportunity to have people watch your Vine channel as aseries of 6-second videos could encourage a lot more narrative storytelling in Vine. Considering how many popular Viners are striving to tell full stories in just six seconds, this could be a watershed moment for those creators.

The update to the now three-year-old service also pits it a little more squarely against Snapchat Stories, but without creative opportunities like animated filters, doodling and text.

Who knows, those features could all be on Vine’s development timeline.