Vine Is Ready for Its Citizen Journalism Close-Up

Rebecca Greenfield
The Atlantic Wire

This weekend's snowpocalypse hasn't reached its full wrath yet, but Vine, the latest craze in image sharing, is already full of looping videos depicting today's dreary weather. A search for the #nemo hashtag surfaces all kinds of videos like this eerie scene at Olin College in Southeastern Pennsylvania:

#nemo #blizzard #trouble /by @dismanntled

— Reyner Crosby (@reyner) February 8, 2013

With something like weather, the effect of which people can see with their own eyes, this kind of on-the-scene reporting makes sense, especially when everyone is reading Vine owner Twitter for second-to-second updates. That very reasoning is what made Instagram so useful during Sandy. With its 90 million monthly active users, Instagram will surely see a lot of action this weekend. In fact, it already has with plenty of snowy photos showing up under the #nemo tag. But while Vine is just two weeks old and certainly has far few users than Instagram, it has one important leg-up on its more mature visual-driven app: It works with Twitter.

RELATED: Why Your Weatherman Is Protesting the Name 'Nemo'

Vine, unlike Snap Chat, also happens to have the seal of approval of the Twitterati. Journalists and brands alike, who dismissed SnapChat as the app for tween sexters until noticing its massive growth, have been experimenting with the new video medium to "figure it out." With all their followers and followings, these two groups motivate a lot of what happens on the social platform and  much of media and advertising concentrated in New York, a weekend stuck inside as snow piles on and increasingly isolated people want to know what's going on provides the perfect opportunity to fine-tune the Vine sharing experience.