How a six-second clip can earn thousands

When Vine videos go viral

Ben Phillips, who is making a good living from Vine clips

When it first launched in January last year, Vine was the target of some derision. With YouTube already so successful, what future was there for a video sharing service that only allowed six-second clips?

But within a couple of months, Vine, owned by Twitter, had become the most-used video sharing application in the market. By April last year, it was the most-downloaded free app within Apple's iOS App Store.

Where there are users, there are marketing agencies, desperate to get their products in front of viewers' eyes. And some lucky Vine users are now making serious money through promoting products in their Vine videos.

One such is Ben Phillips, who is currently making as much as £2,000 per second from his uploaded videos. The 21-year-old Cardiff man specialises in pranks and sketches, which are viewed by as many as 1.2 million people a time.

His first Vines were of his then-partner's three-year-old son, Harley, in which the lad gave medical advice: "If you've got a boo boo, wash it, kiss it and plaster it!" for example. And when they started attracting audiences of a million views, or 'loops', the advertises started showing up.

"I had companies saying 'we want to pay you to promote our product' and management teams contacting me out of the blue," he tells the Daily Telegraph. "I'd only really promote products that I would use. But it works when I do because we don't have that 'celebrity' status – we're just ordinary people."

East Sussex builder Daz Black recently quit his job to focus on Vine full-time, after hitting a million followers. "I've got offers coming in from all directions," he says. "Ideas just come to me most just randomly - I'm not sure if it's talent or something I should be worried about!"

Getting started is easy - although Nike probably won't be knocking on your door unless you have at least a hundred thousand followers. And like any fad, it may not last. Until now, users have only been able to upload videos from their phones as they make them. Last month, though, the company made a change in the service, allowing users to upload previously-made videos as well. Marketing agencies are delighted, as it gives them the chance to promote their campaigns professionally and directly.

Daz Black says this trend could pose a problem to Vine's appealingly amateur nature, and is building a second career as a comedian. "Vine's getting bigger and bigger but advertising may have a potential to kill it off," he says.

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