Analysis Culture Twitter YouTube — Darryl Woodford, 12 April 2013
A Month of Vines: An early look at Vine through Twitter

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 “”), 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 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. 1,789
RT @VEVO_UK: Demi signs the VEVO wall 1,471
RT @fucktyler: WHERE IS IT 1,230
RT @fucktyler: SANDWHICHHH 1,132
RT @DarrenCriss: Me getting into Blaine mode. Wish it actually took this long. 1,113
RT @fucktyler: 1,005
RT @fucktyler: BURFDAY 998
RT @fucktyler: FAG 884
RT @CostaCoffee: Have fun with Costa! :) #lovecosta 811
RT @fucktyler: 753
RT @CostaCoffee: Sip like you mean it.. #lovecosta 714
RT @CostaCoffee: Too many treats to choose from.. #lovecosta 696
RT @CostaCoffee: Made for loving you…. #lovecosta 660
RT @fucktyler: Jasper 640
RT @VEVO_UK: 636
RT @fucktyler: PAUSE HAHA 619
RT @TeamMessi: …and here’s Leo signing them! Is this the worlds first #vine of Leo Messi? RT and follow to win. #askmessi 583
RT @markhoppus: Getting ready. 544
RT @CostaCoffee: Hot chocolate‚ cream‚ marshmallows.. How do you have yours? #lovecosta 507
RT @levvis_: me and harry styles and lily allen x 504
RT @markhoppus: Australia. 493
RT @christoferdrew: photoshoot for sunflower 485
RT @fucktyler: U FUCKED MY BITCH 473
RT @adidasUK: Follow @adidasUK & RT for the chance to win these signed boots by Gareth Bale! 457
RT @TeamMessi: …y aquí está Leo firmándolas! ¿Es este el primer #vine de Leo Messi? Haz RT y síguenos para ganarlas. #askmessi 450
RT @CostaCoffee: Made for loving you… #lovecosta 448
RT @fucktyler: 417
RT @GilletteUK: Gillette evolution. RT before 19/3 for your chance to WIN one of 5 ProGlide Silvertouch razors!! 413
RT @RouReynolds: nnnnnyehh 402
RT @Battlefield: Straight from the video editing suite: Prepare 4 Battle – 03.27! This sneak peek now‚ more soon. (Please RT!… 398
RT @Lakers: That’s a W. #GoLakers 396
RT @louteasdale: Do something funny for money todaaaaay #comicrelief #halfbeard @benwinston 394
RT @aaronpaul_8: Every time I drink a coke this is how how feel during the act of drinking the coke. 376
RT @Pysjamasgutten: Enkelte jenter ass 351
RT @markhoppus: Happy Mother’s Day! 349
RT @fucktyler: 3 338
RT @coldplay: #MXcomic #issue1 A 334
RT @fucktyler: Hahaha 324
RT @markhoppus: Tour life. 317
RT @ashleydzerigian: Love in the elevator! @keisharenee @rickjordandrums @adamlambert @whoisjohnnyrice @tommyjoeratliff @lovemysp… 308
RT @MTVteenwolf: #83Days 303
RT @nikosofficiel: #mattpokora ou pas? @mpofficial 289
RT @rekorderlig: Follow and RT for the chance to win this Winter Cider set #beautifullyswedish 288
RT @JaredLeto: Del nuevo video de #MARS: Saludaste a Winston? 267
RT @fucktyler: 262
RT @GilletteUK: Gillette evolution. RT before 19/3 for your chance to WIN one of 5 ProGlide Silvertouch razors! 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 Woodford

Darryl Woodford 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.

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