Tonedeff in his studio
Tonedeff in his studio
Tonedeff in his studio
Tonedeff in his studio
Tonedeff in his studio
Tonedeff in his studio

Twitter

For again proving the power of brevity, this time with video.

Twitter has always pushed users to cram lots of awesomeness into a tiny amount of space. First, of course, it gave us the 140-character limit. And on January, 2013, it introduced us to the magic of six seconds: That's the time limit of its video app, Vine, which has gone on to inspire lots of experiments, marketing, and a new breed of social media stars.

Just how much can be packed into those six seconds? We wanted to make the most of every millisecond, so we asked Tonedeff--known as the world’s fastest rapper, whose new album is Polymer--for a Most Innovative Rap. Check out the results, a Vine about Vine. The lyrics are hard to catch, so look below for what he's saying--and what it all says about Twitter's innovativeness.

Vine is the app of the moment...
that’s making all video sharing an art...
and is tearing apart their competitors...
looping the scene, and forget it, B: Twitter’s been smarter...
they’re building new stars in the most innovative approach...
and I bet that you’re gonna re-Vine--or restart.

Here's his lyrics line by line, and their deeper meaning:

0:01
“Vine is the app of the moment...”
Vine was the fourth-most-downloaded free app in 2013, and user growth was fast: By August, eight months after its launch, it had 40 million users.

0:02
“…that’s making all video sharing an art...”
Its six-second limit inspired a new medium with a new set of stars, from comedians to rappers, giving Vine a cool factor other video apps never achieved.

0:03
“...and is tearing apart their competitors...”
Vine forced Instagram and Snapchat to add video, and YouTube’s cofounders created MixBit. But Vine had answers, redesigning the camera and making video easier to edit.

0:04
“...looping the scene, and forget it, B: Twitter’s been smarter...”
The video’s looping mimics GIFs, but with sound—leading to punchy, visual gags that are far more fun than Instagram’s ad-driven 15-second video window.

0:05
“...they’re building new stars in the most innovative approach...”
Vine doesn’t have ads, but it’s brand-friendly: Dunkin’ Donuts, Mountain Dew, Virgin Mobile, and Trident have used fans’ Vines in their TV spots.

0:06
“...and I bet that you’re gonna re-Vine--or restart.”
Re-Vining, which was added in July, turned the best Viners into web celebrities. They also get a boost from YouTube, where Vine compilations draw tens of millions of views.

Fitting that all into six seconds isn't easy. Here, a making of our Vine:

[Photos by Jonathan Snyder]