Vine seems like a simple service on the surface. It's a platform for six-second, looping videos, with integrated Twitter sharing. The platform has exploded, with a record of 19,667 Vines created in a single day for a high record, according to Media Bistro, and it continues to get heavy, consistent usage. One particular turn of events that helped to elevate its popularity was its July 2013 app update. Before then, Vine got plenty of usage, but it wasn't the viral masterpiece that had staying power like it is today. Two important features from that update -- channels and re-Vining -- helped to boost its usability and social media ease of use to transform it into the Vine you know today.

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Why Channels are Important

Think back to the early days of the Internet, before search directories and engines. You were left to your own devices. You had to find out about websites from magazine advertisements, typing in URLs, and hoping a site existed on the other end. You even heard about sites via word of mouth. Vine was similar before it had channels. There are always hashtags, but channels allow for a broad browsing experience that exposes users to categories outside of their hashtag interests. With the broad overview, it is easier to see what users are uploading, what is popular, and what simply exists on Vine, Engadget says. Each channel has a specific flavor and community. You can also monitor the popular feed to find out what other users love about a particular channel.

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On the social media side of things, re-Vining helps boost the popularity of channels and individual Vine users. Re-Vining is quite similar to the re-blogging feature of Tumblr. Re-Vining puts the Vine videos on the user's profile, so not only are the Vines getting shared to the user's social network, they have a permanent spot on their page. This makes it easy for a video to go viral, since the search engines are going to pick it up from multiple pages, and it gets plenty of eyes on it.

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This feature also helps turn Vine into more of a social network experience than it already was, so in addition to social media sharing on sites such as Facebook and Twitter, you also get it directly on the Vine site. While Vine faces plenty of competition as other services seek to take their own share of the popularity, it looks as though Vine is going to be doing plenty to stay on the top of the heap.

รข€‹Where Vine Goes From Here

Forbes believes the future of Vine is going to shift over to long-format videos, due to the popularity of compilations of Vine videos that end up on YouTube, or the Star Wars project where users filmed five-second pieces and patched everything together. It's great for slow Internet users who can't get service in rural areas with the small clips, though (there are a number of places such as that offer a large span of coverage for most of these users, and have great coverage even in some desolate areas). Whether Vine moves away from the six-second format heavily depends on how long people are going to keep it popular. If it starts to die off, Vine will certainly try to mix up their formula, Forbes suggests.

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