By now, you’ve probably heard the news. On October 27, Vine announced that they would soon be discontinuing their mobile app. Twitter, Vine’s current owner, has evidently decided that the app is no longer economically viable. For the social-media-savvy, this announcement was shocking. Though most people were not as active on Vine as they may have been on sites like Instagram or Facebook, Vine has remained a staple in the online world for years. Since 2013, users have been using the Vine application to make and share content. Many videos posted on Vine have later become viral, leading to them being shared across multiple platforms. How many “memes” can you recall that trace their origins to a Vine?
When Vine first became popular, I couldn’t understand why. Okay, the app was free, which is always nice. But, I didn’t see what was interesting about a phone application that allowed users to share ‘videos’ that seemed more like outrageously short clips, considering Vines could only be 6-seconds or less. YouTube was an already established website where you could upload content of almost any length. Not to mention, on YouTube there seemed to be an endless array of videos to choose from. On Vine, it seemed that most users were only concerned with being funny. But, eventually, from that humor being showcased, I saw the platform’s value.
I first downloaded Vine on my iPhone sometime in 2014, and I quickly became a fan of the platform as a whole. There were some negative pockets, of course. But, since I was a casual viewer rather than a creator, I could easily overlook the cruel comments 12-year-olds made on popular videos. Some jokes “Viners” made were just offensive, but to be fair, there are just as many bad seeds on almost any form of social media. What I did find on Vine was ultimately much more positive than negative. I saw an incredible show of creativity across its users and I saw people broadcasting their talents in positive ways.
What I like about Vine is that it encourages its users to work hard at producing and distributing content. You are also typically addressing a wider audience than you would on some other more personal forms of social media. And the 6-second video that Vine has pioneered, just makes it easier for Vines made to be given their due attention. Some of my favorite Vines are simply ridiculous, such as this one. Others are more professionally produced like this one.
There are several musicians who launched their careers through Vine. Singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes amassed popularity thanks to the app and is now a well-known performer. Many celebrities like actor Josh Peck also double as popular Viners.
So, what happens now that Vine is closing its virtual doors? Well, for starters, Vine has stated that they have no plans to delete all previously posted Vines. All content will still be available online to watch and download, so at least we have that. Basically, you just won’t be able to post anything new. That is, unless Twitter does sell the rights to the application, and someone is able to restore Vine to its former glory.
For now, there is no saying what will happen to Vine’s most popular stars. However, many of them seemed to have begun making the switch to different social media platforms before Vine’s closing was officially announced.