Vine, the mobile application that enables users to create six-second videos, released a significant update Wednesday, adding privacy settings, video-shooting tools and new opportunities to discover interesting videos.
The changes are available immediately on Apple devices. All the updates will be available on Android devices next week.
The company, owned by Twitter, had teased about improvements last month the day before Facebook's Instagram introduced video sharing. Instagram has 10 times more users than Vine. That led to speculation about Vine's growing popularity hitting a roadblock. Vine's new features could be crucial in keeping users hooked.
In a dramatic departure, users can opt to make their Vines private. By going to the "Your Content" section on Vine's settings page, a user can choose to let only approved Vine followers see their posts. Instagram has a similar option.
The camera portion of the app has a new look. Users can place grid lines over the video preview. Film experts normally suggest putting the subject of a shot at one of the four points where the horizontal and vertical lines intersect.
Another tool focuses the video. The last improvement, known as ghosting, overlays the current snippet being captured above the previous portion so a user can more accurately match up different pieces of a movie.
Once a Vine is saved, users now can peg the video to a location – much like Instagram. They also can add it to one of several categories, including cats, family and food.
The categories now show up on the "Explore" screen, on which users can find popular videos to watch. Vine replaced its poorly updated Editor's Pick section with an "On the Rise" category.
The final change brings the retweet to Vine in the form of re-vining, which is not to be confused with re-gifting a bottle of Pinot Noir. Instead, re-vining enables a user to share someone else's Vine with his or her own followers by tapping a button below the video.
"This is our biggest, most exciting update yet — and we've got even more coming soon," Vine co-founder Colin Kroll said in a blog post.