Citing the fact that users have wanted this from the beginning, today Vine released an update on both iOS and Android that makes private messaging available.
Starting today, you can now send your favorite 6-second clips to your friends on Vine as well as anyone in your address book (even if they don't have the Vine app). If you want to send one Vine video to multiple friends, Vine will start a separate conversation with each friend. These are meant to be private, remember?
You're going to have to have a verified phone number, says Vine–so don't be alarmed when prompted to do so.
"Having a verified phone number ensures that when someone tries to send a VM to your phone number we will be able to route the VM correctly to your Vine account. Having a verified phone number also helps us deliver VMs you send to the Friends inbox of your friends. You are also be required to have a verified phone number to send a message to someone who doesn’t follow you."
Here's more info on the new feature directly from Vine:
To create your own Vine message (VM), select the new “Messages” option in the navigation menu, record a video and send it to your friends. You can send a VM to multiple people. Each conversation is one-to-one; if you want to send a video to eight friends, you will start eight separate conversations. Your messages inbox has two sections: Friends (people you know) and Other (people outside your network). If you want to receive messages only from the people you follow or know, you can turn off your Other inbox in Settings.
Naturally, this can be seen as a move to compete with a variety of players in the video messaging world, including Instagram (who launched private video messaging back in December), Snapchat, and WhatsApp (which Facebook recently acquired for $19 billion).
I do wonder how Vine will deal with the, uh, more intimate VMs users are sure to want to send. Vine recently cracked down on adult content on the public part of the network, but private messaging is a different animal altogether.
Image via Vine