Microsoft’s Xbox One app platform might not be open to all developers, but the company has been slowly rolling out a variety of apps in recent weeks. A Reddit app arrived in August, and then Plex debuted earlier this month, and today Vine makes its way to Microsoft’s console. Although Twitter’s Vine app has unearthed a number of stars who can be very creative with just six seconds of footage, the app has largely be confined to smartphones instead of living room TVs. Vine is launching on TV for the first time thanks to the Xbox One app, in a move that speaks to the ever-changing way people are consuming videos.
While the Vine experience on a smartphone is a personal experience where you sign in and follow friends or popular Vine creators, the Xbox One app appears to be designed to just loop through categories of Vines. There’s no option to sign in, so the personal aspect is lost, and you’re immediately thrown into popular vines when you first launch the app. As Vines use a square format, they’re not perfect for TV and Microsoft has added transparent borders that replicate and extend parts of the original vine so there aren’t ugly blocks of black at the side. Vines loop twice and then the next video in a category or tag starts playing. There are options to pause and access featured users, trending tags, popular Vines, and the various categories, but that’s about it for customization or control.
Kinect is supported for gesture and voice control, and you can even snap the app if you really want to watch looping Vines while you play an Xbox game. Overall it feels like an odd app to launch on Xbox One given the social aspect of being able to like, comment, and revine on the mobile Vine app. All of the personal and social aspects are gone in favor of a simple viewing experience of six-second videos. If you’re a Vine user then it brings the quirky videos to your TV, but for everyone else it’s unlikely Vine for Xbox One is an app that will be used regularly.