How to create an app like Vine

Creating short looping video clips and sharing them on your social networks became extremely popular through Vine, a free app that turned out to be the most used video-sharing application in the market within just a couple of months of its release. Let’s find out more about how they created the Vine app and its success.



Vine was founded by Dom Hofmann, Rus Yusupov, and Colin Kroll in June 2012. By October 2012, the company had been acquired by Twitter for $30 million. On January 24, 2013 it was released as a free iOS app on the App Store, and a couple of months later, Vine was the most used video-sharing application in the market. On April 9, Vine became the most-downloaded free app within the iOS App Store. Vine for iOS is now available in over twenty languages, and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It requires iOS 5.0 or later and is optimized for iPhone 5 or later.


The Android version was released as a free app on Google Play in June the same year, and it was later listed among TIME‘s 50 Best Android Applications for 2013. The Windows version was released in November 2013.

BlackBerry 10 users can download an app for Vine, which can be used on the Z30, Z10, Q10 and Q5 smart phones. The app is named “whine” and is written by a third party developer.


Vine enables users to record short video clips through its in-app camera. As the camera only records while the screen is being touched, it encourages users to edit on the fly or create stop motion effects by holding a finger down on the screen for about 1 to 2 seconds. After that, the software will ask the user to film two more times. Vine then puts all three of those two-second shots together to make a Vine with the maximum length of six seconds, which can be shared to Vine’s social network, or to other services such as Twitter and Facebook. Users can also find, follow, and interact with other users, and explore trending posts, featured hashtags and editor’s picks.



When introducing the feature of sharing Vines directly onto Facebook and Twitter, and after adult images started showing up on the service, some even in the “editor’s picks” category, the age restriction was changed to 17+, following a request by Apple. This means users will have to confirm they are 17 years old or over before using the app.

In January 2013, one BBC reviewer reported that stop motion animation is “alive and well”, describing the aggregations of Vine as “mesmerizing”, when he noted that advertising agencies have been quick to seize on Vine’s potential. The app was used by Columbia Records to promote Big Time Rush’s new album “24/seven” by showing the track names of the album, and in September 2013, Dunkin Donuts became the first company to use a single Vine as an entire television advertisement.

Another journalist found that 6 seconds of video covered all the important details, when he used the app to document the aftermath of a suicide bombing outside the U.S. embassy in Turkey on February 1, 2013.


The popularity of Vine created a trend in short-video apps, the most noticeable competitor being Facebook-owned Instagram responding by appending a short-video option into the photo-sharing app,  in June 2013. According to Times list Most popular everything 2013, the most popular Vines were simple but creative clips of pop culture mixed with everyday images, accidentally funny people and cute kids.

The newest trend on Vine’s is whaling, following the viral images of advanced planking activity (lying down in unusual locations). Much like planking, whaling involves contorting your body into a shape, in this case, trying to resemble nature’s largest sea creature. While planking was mostly restricted to photos, whaling seems to be quite suitable to Vine’s short videos.


So, a good idea, some smart technology and acquired for $30million before you’ve even built and launched the product – it’s these opportunities that prompted us to create our Course teaching non-technical people how to go about turning their app ideas into an app.  To learn how to create an app with your own idea, then start on a free trial with the first Course tutorial today.

Iain Dowling wrote on

Iain's a co-founder of AppInstruct. An experienced interaction designer, having worked on many startups his notable achievements include making the world's first real-time multiplayer game for mobile, Goal!, and beating Google to market with a mobile mapping product, Maps2Mobiles. Iain worked with Vijay on the Lasoo and Optus Recharge Now apps.