When Twitter launched Vine in January, everyone’s initial reaction to the social video app’s six-second limit was something along the lines of, “Huh?” What on earth could you do that was even remotely entertaining in six seconds? Even the stupidest commercials are at least 15 seconds long. And in fact most Vine videos are pretty lame. But there was a subtle brilliance in the limitation. Yes, the short length made it much more mobile-friendly, but like Twitter’s 140-character limit, it also forced creativity. As the Atlantic Wire predicted at the time, “The medium will evolve within the constraints. People will master the Vine. The clips will get less choppy; the rhythm will improve. People will create videos that make sense. And, just like the 140-character limit, soon enough, nobody will call Vine’s rules a limitation.”
When forced to work within severe constraints, there’s no room for fluff. Everything gets boiled down to what’s really important. Think about where you live. How many square feet do you really need to live? Sure, I could be really comfortable in a 10,000 square foot mansion, but I really only need a few hundred square feet. Maybe less.