Vine was created in the summer of 2012 by Dom Huffman, Rus Yusupov, and Colin Kroll. The application was a video hosting service where the users of the application could create and share six second videos that were set to loop automatically.
Before the applications official launch, it was purchased by Twitter for a reported $30 million. According to the New York Times, Jack Dorsey believed he had found the next hit — an Instagram with video. On April 9, 2013, Vine became the most downloaded free app within the iOS App Store.
In the fall of 2016, Vine began to announce their shutdown. In October, they stated that Twitter would be discontinuing the Vine mobile app. The company announced that the website and the app will still be available for users to view and download Vines, but the users would not be able to post new content to the platform. In January of 2017, Twitter created an archive of all Vine videos, but this was later removed in 2019 by Twitter.
There are a few reasons as to why Vine seemed to quickly disappear. According to Vanity Fair, Vine, like its parent company Twitter, was an organizational mess. The magazine states “former executives, managers, and rank-and-file employees whom I spoke to paint a picture of internal politics, managerial disorder, corporate foot-dragging, and a nebulous video strategy, all of which hampered Vine’s ambitions, caused the platform’s top talent to flee, and led to an overall decline in users”. It seems as though a constant issue for Vine was that Twitter never really knew what they wanted from the platform and they never got a lot of the initiatives up and running. Twitter continued to spend money on their own video tools, which confused users on which platform they should be posting on. Vine was also not getting the resources they needed from Twitter, putting them behind on trends and unable to create new product features.
Even though Vine was around for a short time, the impact of the application is still ongoing. The impact of video editing, cultural importance and how to successfully keep an application running are only a few of the impacts.
Vine can also be a warning to companies to invest in their biggest users before they leave the platform behind. According to Forbes, “the death of vine should be a lesson to other social media platforms”. In 2016, twenty of Vines top creators met with representatives of Vine where they asked for $1.2 million dollars for each of the 18 Vine stars in the meeting. If the creators were given the money, they would each produce 12 6-second videos a month and would stay permanently on Vine. Vine rejected the offer. Forbes closed out their article stating “content is in fact, King. And platforms are merely the currently popular throne on which the king sits”.
Vine also paved the way for other short term video applications. Vine encouraged many platforms to add video tools to their platforms — Twitter and Instagram to name a few. Applications like Tik Tok owe a lot to Vine. Many Tik Tok users actually consider it the new Vine and is why they downloaded it in the first place.
Something else that was noted on many outlets was that Vine was a welcoming space for the black community. According to Vox, “Vine culture, as a general rule, was happy in a way that many other social media platforms weren’t”. There was not a harassment fueled culture war that is constantly seen on other platforms.
The reason I chose this topic is stated above. Vine was happy. It was a happy platform, happy people, and a happy time in my life. It was my introduction to the social media and it also helped create bonds with many people in my life — from creating videos together to sending them back and forth to one another. Overall, Vine’s downfall felt quick and without a lot of warning to my friends and I, But the impact and the experience it created for users and the future of social media is still felt by many.