Twitter announces Vine, enhancements to embedded tweets, and terminal case of Bieber Fever | This Week in Social Media

Twitter’s six-second answer to Instagram

Twitter introduced Vine on Thursday, a free app for iPhone and iPod Touch that allows the capture and sharing of 6-second looping videos. The popular microblogging platform acquired Vine last fall. Avid tweeters and non-Twitter users alike are welcome to use the service, which produces short, GIF-like videos that can be embedded in tweets, Facebook posts, blogs, or elsewhere. Vine videos can also be viewed directly on the web. The super-short media platform pairs well with Twitter’s 140-character philosophy.

Embedded tweets now more detailed, easier to embed

On Tuesday Twitter announced several improvements to embedded tweets, so that tweets embedded on a website will now display photos, videos, article summaries, and any other media shared in a tweet—the same way a user would view the tweet on the Twitter website. Embedded tweets will also display accurate retweet and favorite counts to help users better gauge engagement.

Justin Bieber now most-followed on Twitter

As of Monday night, the impeccably-coiffed pop star has officially dethroned previous title-holder Lady Gaga, by a margin of just over 5,000 followers. At time of writing, 18-year-old Justin Bieber had a staggering 33,498,188 followers, at least 33,400,000 of whom are teenage girls. Mother Monster Lady Gaga may have been the first person to pass 10 million, 20 million, and then 30 million followers—but the Biebz was the first Instagram user to reach 1 million followers. (It should be noted that he now has 6.1 million followers on Instagram, and also that the author had to Google “Biebz.”)