Vine's looping video clips are about to get sharper with 720p support.
Previously, Vine video quality was limited to 480-by-480 resolution. The square aspect ratio will remain unchanged as 720-by-720 resolution videos begin to appear.
Vine is a little over two years old now, having been acquired by Twitter even before its official launch. The app allows users to capture and upload video clips that loop continuously and last no longer than six seconds. It's sort of a proprietary take on the animated GIF, with better quality and more features. The service faces tough competition from Instagram, which allows 12 seconds of looped video at a maximum 640-by-640 resolution.
Vine says the 720p upgrade is rolling out to iOS users first, with Android coming shortly behind. Embedded web videos will also start appearing in higher resolution soon.
Why this matters: It might seem surprising that Vine videos were limited to such low quality in the past. But video consumes lots of bandwidth, and those looping videos would easily lose their appeal if they didn't load quickly. Now that 4G LTE networks are ubiquitous--along with higher-quality "selfie cams" in smartphones--a boost in video quality makes sense.