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Twitter debuts video-sharing app Vine for iOS

Twitter has announced a video-sharing service, dubbed Vine, which will let users shoot and share short, looping videos.

The release is part of Twitter's October acquisition of video startup Vine. The micro-blogging site had been mum on its plans for Vine since the purchase, until Twitter CEO Dick Costolo tweeted a video using the Vine app. His video provided a fast-paced demonstration of how to make steak tartare, and hinted at a potential new product.

Vine and Twitter subsequently confirmed the launch of the Vine app for iOS.

"Posts on Vine are about abbreviation - the shortened form of something larger," Vine co-founder Dom Hofmann wrote. "They're little windows into the people, settings, ideas and objects that make up your life. They're quirky, and we think that's part of what makes them so special."

"Like Tweets, the brevity of videos on Vine (6 seconds or less) inspires creativity," Michael Sippey, Twitter's vice president of product, wrote. "Now that you can easily capture motion and sound, we look forward to seeing what you create."

With Vine, short clips are recorded via a straight take or multiple shots, then turned into a shareable digital flipbook. Though there is no play/pause button attached, the looping video can be stopped by clicking on it before it becomes annoying.

Hofmann promised that even non-Twitter users can enjoy the new app. "Although we've joined Twitter, you don't need a Twitter account to use Vine (but signing up is a little quicker if you do!)," he said.

Before being snatched up by Twitter, Vine was a struggling startup that never actually started up. The New York-based, three-man company formed in June 2012, but never launched publicly, according to All Things D.

For now, the minimalist Vine homepage simply provides a link to the Apple App Store, where iOS users can download the free app, which will work on the iPhone and iPod touch.