A university for the real world

A Month of Vines: An early look at Vine through Twitter

Posted In Projects - By On Friday, April 12th, 2013 With 0 Comments

With my CCI colleague Jean Burgess, we have recently been tracking the development and use of Vine through our existing Twitter tools. More on accessing and tracking Vine will be forthcoming in future posts, but below we will discuss the first month of our Vine data, from 18 February to 18 March. It remains unclear exactly what proportion of total vines are being distributed through Twitter, however preliminary samples would indicate it may not be a majority. It’s also worth noting that in looking at Vines on Twitter, popularity and re-tweets are not necessarily a measure of the quality, or uniqueness, of the vine itself, but also the celebrity of the user; notable among the early sample are well established YouTube and Television personalities.

Overall Volume


This data represents tweets that contain Vine URL’s (i.e. match “vine.co”), and thus includes videos being posted to twitter, as well as replies and re-tweets that contain the URL. As you can see in the above diagram, tweets about vines have increased in volume significantly over the period (the final day represents incomplete data). From around 2000 vines per day on Twitter during the first few days of data collection, the final weekend (16/17 March) saw 6000-7000 tweets. There also appears to be weekly variation, in that weekends see more tweets posted than weekdays.

Daily Patterns

Screen Shot 2013-02-26 at 6.49.28 PM

Taking a look at the first week of vines provides some more detail about the daily pattern observed above. On each day there is a sharp drop-off to a floor happening between 16:00 and 20:00 AEST, which is 1am – 5am US Eastern Time. The daily peaks vary from 1am and 12noon AEST, which is 10am and 9pm US Eastern. This would certainly suggest that Vine is currently very US-centric.

Some Metrics

vinesbytype copy

Compared to other tweets we have investigated, tweets surrounding vines are fairly well distributed. Among over 1.5million tweets in this first months database, there were 441,091 individual users, so an average of just over 3 tweets per person. The top 1% by volume contains those with over 28 tweets, and is 195,280 of the total.

Across the whole user base, 74% of tweets are original (that is, are not either a retweet or a reply), 18.5% are retweets, and 7.5% replies. Among the 294,499 users who make up the lower 50% (between 1 and 3 tweets), the retweet percentage increases to 47.1% (with replies remaining similar at 8.8%), suggesting that these users are largely not part of the Vine community, but re-tweeting something from somebody they are following. The top 1% (4490 users), with more than 28 tweets, have 5.9% replies, and just 4.1% retweets, with over 90% of the tweets being original, suggesting that these users are the ones posting videos on a frequent basis. Those between 3 and 28 tweets similarly have 82% original tweets, so this grouping will capture those who have gone beyond simply a #firstpost with Vine.



615,830 of the 1.5million tweets contained a hashtag; encouraged by the Vine app to select tags which apply to their videos. While we want to conduct further, detailed, work to look at the content of the videos, the hash tags do provide us with a way to take an early look. Hashtags, unlike in our usual Twitter analysis, are not used in Vine to organize a conversation about a topic (although some may serve this purpose, such as #newsvine), but to enable people to find videos containing specific content, and indeed tags and user profiles are the only way to find videos through the Vine App.

Whilst the Vine App suggests hashtags, users are free to add their own, and as such there were 128,770 hashtags in the data set. The chart above shows the top 20. Notable is that #firstpost is included 21,276 times – this is the default hashtag in the Vine tutorial for a users initial video. Vine is also a common term (and our tools differentiate between upper and lower case, and so combined this gives 14,389 occurrences. SXSW is also prominent (in both capitalized and uncapitalized forms), with 10920 occurrences, which is obvious period specific. The other common hashtags, #cat, #cute, #dog, #favthings, #food, #funny, #howto, #magic, #music, #pets, #travel, and #vineportraits, give us an interesting first glance into uses of Vine.


tweetsource copy

No surprises here… the vast majority of these tweets come directly from the Vine application. Again this is filtered; the top 10 are displayed with those without a source excluded. The Twitter iPhone app is in second place and Twitter.com third. These would presumably be retweets and replies.


Popular Tweets


The above chart shows the 50 most popular re-tweets containing a vine URL during the past month. Those URL’s are reproduced below, so that you can check out the videos. The prominence of celebrities from other forms of media and marketing campaigns stands out amongst this selection.

text Count
RT @DarrenCriss: My glee warm up to start the day. And intro to Vine. http://t.co/WSQom4BEAo 1,789
RT @VEVO_UK: Demi signs the VEVO wall http://t.co/zi6MJE4u 1,471
RT @fucktyler: WHERE IS IT http://t.co/6igl2EJCJ9 1,230
RT @fucktyler: SANDWHICHHH http://t.co/kgD9zYwYkX 1,132
RT @DarrenCriss: Me getting into Blaine mode. Wish it actually took this long. http://t.co/FzxpEAw5TN 1,113
RT @fucktyler: http://t.co/7HJFNdXGdP 1,005
RT @fucktyler: BURFDAY http://t.co/37ej09RQyv 998
RT @fucktyler: FAG http://t.co/A27rTa2sfn 884
RT @CostaCoffee: Have fun with Costa! 🙂 #lovecosta http://t.co/PbFf5JXa 811
RT @fucktyler: http://t.co/aBBvlGz24t 753
RT @CostaCoffee: Sip like you mean it.. #lovecosta http://t.co/Ni6QuxvFRP 714
RT @CostaCoffee: Too many treats to choose from.. #lovecosta http://t.co/zKY2q05olf 696
RT @CostaCoffee: Made for loving you…. #lovecosta http://t.co/F8LG7EUJ 660
RT @fucktyler: Jasper http://t.co/jumrmjjlKp 640
RT @VEVO_UK: http://t.co/c5lKadbY 636
RT @fucktyler: PAUSE HAHA http://t.co/MAgSjzuPj6 619
RT @TeamMessi: …and here’s Leo signing them! Is this the worlds first #vine of Leo Messi? RT and follow to win. #askmessi https://t.co/TKYYsVUOoa 583
RT @markhoppus: Getting ready. http://t.co/5VlFbphB 544
RT @CostaCoffee: Hot chocolate‚ cream‚ marshmallows.. How do you have yours? #lovecosta http://t.co/RqdhyUbokw 507
RT @levvis_: me and harry styles and lily allen x http://t.co/2OBOEoPXXb 504
RT @markhoppus: Australia. http://t.co/KSFh0ZJI8k 493
RT @christoferdrew: photoshoot for sunflower http://t.co/tfI5kqt0Wy 485
RT @fucktyler: U FUCKED MY BITCH http://t.co/othkq6pCVB 473
RT @adidasUK: Follow @adidasUK & RT for the chance to win these signed boots by Gareth Bale! http://t.co/2EUtIhDV7v 457
RT @TeamMessi: …y aquí está Leo firmándolas! ¿Es este el primer #vine de Leo Messi? Haz RT y síguenos para ganarlas. #askmessi https://t.co/TKYYsVUOoa 450
RT @CostaCoffee: Made for loving you… #lovecosta http://t.co/F8LG7EUJ 448
RT @fucktyler: http://t.co/mHU19ePm7r 417
RT @GilletteUK: Gillette evolution. RT before 19/3 for your chance to WIN one of 5 ProGlide Silvertouch razors!! http://t.co/iFhSC2tvQK 413
RT @BrooklynNets: JOE JOHNSON DOES IT AGAIN! http://t.co/vsCLjWaU 403
RT @RouReynolds: nnnnnyehh http://t.co/GomLa8h5Ey 402
RT @Battlefield: Straight from the video editing suite: Prepare 4 Battle – 03.27! This sneak peek now‚ more soon. (Please RT!… http://t.co/CANw5vb9iW 398
RT @Lakers: That’s a W. #GoLakers http://t.co/mXhP7jZqyt 396
RT @louteasdale: Do something funny for money todaaaaay #comicrelief #halfbeard @benwinston http://t.co/8DFNd4zHkz 394
RT @aaronpaul_8: Every time I drink a coke this is how how feel during the act of drinking the coke. http://t.co/tqE08jmOTC 376
RT @Pysjamasgutten: Enkelte jenter ass http://t.co/rLVHUU6Jzf 351
RT @markhoppus: Happy Mother’s Day! http://t.co/c7FhBA8jWk 349
RT @fucktyler: 3 http://t.co/jC2M96qarZ 338
RT @coldplay: #MXcomic #issue1 A http://t.co/19DrcnOU9R 334
RT @fucktyler: Hahaha http://t.co/MnkTvtkx80 324
RT @markhoppus: Tour life. http://t.co/66tcJAWCG3 317
RT @ashleydzerigian: Love in the elevator! @keisharenee @rickjordandrums @adamlambert @whoisjohnnyrice @tommyjoeratliff @lovemysp… http://t.co/EZW8RvA1py 308
RT @MTVteenwolf: #83Days http://t.co/Dr8OUErBkj 303
RT @nikosofficiel: #mattpokora ou pas? @mpofficial http://t.co/4m9VTlfeoh 289
RT @rekorderlig: Follow and RT for the chance to win this Winter Cider set #beautifullyswedish http://t.co/lecrOKJezu 288
RT @JaredLeto: Del nuevo video de #MARS: Saludaste a Winston? https://t.co/GbedbZIO0i 267
RT @fucktyler: http://t.co/mc2OUYG8KC 262
RT @JaredLeto: RT @30SECONDSTOMARS #MARSisCOMING http://t.co/hcFy9Ktt 257
RT @GilletteUK: Gillette evolution. RT before 19/3 for your chance to WIN one of 5 ProGlide Silvertouch razors! http://t.co/iFhSC2tvQK 207


So that’s an early look at Vines; I expect to update once more on Vines before I head off on conference travels in early May, and a post on Twitter ratios will also be coming next week.

About the Author

- Darryl is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries & Innovation, based at Queensland University of Technology. His research includes works on the video game and gambling industries.

Leave a comment

You must be Logged in to post comment.