You Will Not Stop Watching Vinepeek

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You might not be sold on Twitter's new short video app Vine, but we challenge you to try and stop watching Vinepeek. You won't. You'll be stuck for 20 minutes before mustering the will power to look away. 

Vinepeek is an endless stream of the service's short video transmissions. It plays Vines on an endless loop, in real time, from users around the world. It's addictive and scary and very voyeuristic. Be very careful when visiting Vinepeek. Have a few minutes booked off for you to become hypnotized by the pretty videos. There may be some Josie and the Pussycats-level subliminal messaging going on. The only thing we know for sure is there's about fifteen minutes of our day missing because we were sitting and watching the thing play, over and over again. There were new videos of dogs and cats and clocks and lunch and lego and babies and ball hockey. (We had some very strange videos come up.) You don't even have to click anything. It just goes. 

As we were working on our breathless endorsement, Buzzfeed's John Herrman published a similar Vinepeek rave

The overall effect is mesmerizing and eerie; the surprising clarity of the iPhone's microphone provides a constant assortment of low-mixed ambient sounds, punctuated by music and speech in countless languages. Perhaps most compelling is the sense of voyeurism you get -- while these videos were posted to a public service, the app is new and unfamiliar and, like Instagram, feels somewhat insulated from the greater internet. Many of these videos were meant for small groups of friends to view with almost complete context. We get to see them with none.

Vinepeek was not created by Twitter or Vine, so it could be shut down at any moment. Vine itself is only a few days old. You can tell most are still trying to figure out what works on the service and what doesn't. Some favor short, disjointed clip shots. Others favor one long, smooth six second hard shots. 

This is what the guys from A Clockwork Orange would make you watch if that was made today. It's like a social experiment wrapped in a trending topic. It's our new favorite thing. And now, suddenly, the only thing we want is Subway. And a Du Jour CD

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.