Users Lose As Twitter, Facebook Clash In Wake Of Vine Launch

It makes too much sense.

The social media platform that allows you to scan quick bursts of text - in 140 characters or less - now has a bite-sized video offering with clips limited to six seconds.

It's called Vine. It's a mobile app Twitter acquired that allows you to quickly create videos and share them. The videos are viewable within your timeline on and display nicely on mobile.

If it sounds like an "Instagram for video" (remember: Facebook owns Instagram), that's because it basically is. Others have played in the space too. What makes Vine unique is the 6-second limit, the inclusion of sound and the ability to chop up those 6 precious seconds any way you choose.

The app has its own built-in social network. You can scroll through numerous vines in seconds and find your friends on the app by allowing it access to your phone contacts and who you follow on Twitter.

But you can't find your Facebook friends.

Just after Twitter acquired Vine, Facebook pulled its friend-finding integration with the app.

The Verge's Ellis Hamburger summed this up nicely.

Users lose on this. So many people have both Twitter and Facebook accounts. Removing the ability for them to communicate between their Facebook and Twitter accounts and other apps is a missed opportunity. It can contribute to a frustrating user experience.

Perhaps the reason Facebook pulled the plug on Vine is they are working on their own version of bite-sized video sharing. It wouldn't be unheard of. As Snapchat grew in popularity, Facebook simply created a clone app called Poke, though that hasn't been a wild success. Now that the competition has a quick video-maker, even Google's YouTube released a speedy video-maker last month, Facebook may need one too.

This isn't the first mobile conflict between Twitter and Facebook. An Instagram update in July disabled the "Find Twitter Friends" feature, just three months after Facebook announced it was acquiring Instagram.

More recently, support for Twitter Cards was pulled by Instagram, meaning you can no longer see Instagram photos in your Twitter stream without physically leaving it and going to Twitter has its own photo offering, which launched filters last month.

While Facebook and Twitter fight over which pictures and video display in-stream on their sites, users who like both sites have to be careful what they post where.

A Vine post to Facebook, which you still can do (for now anyway), doesn't automatically play, while it will on Twitter. Likewise, an Instagram post to Facebook looks nice, while it's just a link on Twitter.

The extra work on the user side, to make their content display properly on social, is frustrating. It would be nice to live in a world where you can social share with ease, you can easily find your friends on any platform, and everything works seamlessly everywhere.