Vine’s Six Seconds are Up
After Three Years, Twitter Decides to End the Short-Video Platform
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Launched on January 24, 2013, Vine was a social platform that allowed for the sharing of short, six second long looping videos. Initially, it was an idea for users to simply capture personal moments of their lives to share with friends. However, Vine quickly developed into an experimental creative outlet.
Vine became an element of viral culture. The origin of many slang terms, memes, it became a fresh approach to storytelling and comedy. In fact, it seemed to be bringing about a beginning to a new form of social media… There were even “Vine Stars” being born, similar to YouTube celebrities, due to the wide audience that could be reached as a result of its quick format. So why, with all of this, did Twitter decide to finally close the loop?
Money. It all comes down to money.
2014 was arguably Vine’s peak year; statistics from 7Park Data reveal that 3.64% of all Android users opened the app, which makes today’s 0.66% pale in comparison.
The reasoning behind the platform’s success decline can be narrowed down to three more specific factors: loss of audience and loss of innovation, which ultimately go hand in hand, Instagram’s introduction of longer videos (originally fifteen second clips, before more recently extending it to a full minute), and the promotion of celebrity accounts through an “explore” feature. Conversely, Vine did not make such radical levels of change until recently. Earlier this year they launched the concept of “extended vines,” in which a viewer could watch the original looping six second clip, but then could also click “watch more” in order to access a video at a maximum length of ten minutes long.
Evidently, it never caught on.
Vine took too long to develop new features; the idea of extended vines came when the users of the app had already dwindled down significantly. People tend to not stick with the same thing for an extended amount of time, especially with a lack of progress or new features, so a decrease in users seems inevitable.
What will happen to the all of the Vine Creators’ original content that has accumulated over the past three years? Vine released a blog post talking about this particular subject, including the following statement: “Nothing is happening to the apps, website or your Vines today. We value you, your Vines, and are going to do this the right way. You’ll be able to access and download your Vines. We’ll be keeping the website online because we think it’s important to still be able to watch all the incredible Vines that have been made. You will be notified before we make any changes to the app or website.”
Simply put, the website itself will become an archive while uploading and creation will cease.
Whether or not the death of Vine is a good decision or a poor one is up to debate. Personally, I believe a great platform will be lost. Perhaps with more development and inspiration, it could have become something beyond what it is now. We will never know.
Goodbye, Vine. Your time was just too short for this social media world.