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Why Are Micro Movies So Popular These Days?

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A representation of the many platforms on which to watch micro movies.

Short-form movie files online, also known as micro movies or videos, continue to grow in popularity.

Credit: Oliver Munday and James Bamford

Online micro videos are enjoying a surge in popularity, despite a lack of advanced technology.

For example, the 26-year-old animated GIF format is popular in email signatures and is the most common currency on sites such as Tumblr and Reddit, despite its short, soundless, and jerky video.

Similarly, Nikon 1 cameras are bestsellers, even though their mode dials only offer four options, including the one-second, silent video clip Motion Snapshot.

Another limited but hugely popular video tool is Vine, an iPhone app that records six-second videos that can be posted on the Vine social network, Twitter, or Facebook.

One possible explanation for the popularity of these limited functionality tools is that their technical limitations actually offer some advantages by not taking up as much bandwidth as higher-quality video. Smaller videos load very quickly without running up cellphone bills and wasting time.

In addition, unlike some modern formats, animated GIFs can be posted anywhere, including comment boards and profile pictures, and work with essentially all browsers and devices.

Another possibility is that the limitations of these tools promote creativity by requiring users to convey their message in a six-second video, for example.

Micro videos also could be considered a more-sophisticated photograph, rather than a less-advanced video.

From Scientific American
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