Perhaps as soon as tomorrow, people familiar with the company tell me.
But when Vine does launch, you won’t find it on Twitter, at least not as a fully integrated feature.
Prior to the Twitter acquisition, Vine was going to be a standalone iOS app. And that’s still the case: The startup still operates on its own, and if you want to use the service you’ll need to download it from Apple’s App store.
Why would you want to download Vine? Because it’s supposed to be a fun tool for making and sharing very short video clips — no longer than six seconds a pop — in the same way that Instagram worked for photos. And it’s designed in a similar way, with the ability to follow other Vine users’ clips, explore stuff from people you don’t know, etc.
There are other apps that do something similar, but one notable difference with Vine is the way you use it — after hitting a “record” button on the app, you hold your thumb on the screen to start filming. Take it off, and the camera stops. You can use the app to create one straight take, or take lots of little shots, and make digital montages or flip-books (take a look at Costolo’s clip, below, which looks like it’s composed of eight or nine very quick takes).
All of that’s according to people who’ve seen the app.
Those people also tell me that one thing you don’t see on Vine is any kind of Twitter branding. This is a Twitter-owned video service, but for now, at least, it’s not “Twitter’s video service.”
As Costolo demonstrated today, you’ll be able to share video from the app to Twitter. But that’s about it as far as integration goes. You could see how Twitter might want to link more deeply with Vine at some point, perhaps with a “record” button on Twitter’s own app, but not right now.