A Eulogy to Vine: A Loop With the End in Sight

By Sophia Kapur (‘18)

In the first month of 2013, proud parent Twitter held social media baby Vine’s hand, as it ventured into the world. After adopting Vine from parents Colin Kroll and Rus Yusupov, Twitter believed Vine was the fundamental $30 million dollar addition to its family. Creativity ran wild as the internet eagerly embraced Vine’s one-of-a-kind six-second video looping feature. Little did the world know, Vine would not be around for long. After less than four short years Vine’s short videos have already become a thing of the past.

According to cofounder Kroll, a “guiding light” throughout the creation of the app was to provide, “creative tools for storytellers.” That’s just what Vine did. The six second time limit pushed users to rethink what it means to tell a story, and encouraged the growing user base (40 million users after seven months!) to share their own, resulting in rapid growth. In 2013, the same year the app was released, five Vine videos were being shared on Twitter every second. Present day is a harsh wake up call from that success. Just last month, Vine’s other cofounder, Rus, shared his regrets of selling their startup. How exactly did he choose to share his remorse? Twitter.

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So, what exactly led to the downfall of the once flourishing Vine after peaking in 2014? Well, quite simply, it was the ever changing internet. A large percentage of Vine’s income came from the marketing departments of major companies – think Sephora, Burberry, Samsung. This provided a unique outlet for reaching the general public, by integrating their products into the daily lives of ordinary people, intriguing the viewer with their star-studded undercover ads. It didn’t take long for the other marketing outlets to catch up, and Vine lost the monopoly over video clips. Snapchat and Instagram quickly adopted these features, and more – with a less restrictive time limit compared to Vine’s six second videos. From a marketing perspective, Vine was no longer an asset. These companies took their business, along with their celebrities, elsewhere.

Although the six second video days are over, they are not forgotten. Without Vine, the halls of IA would have never known of Daniel’s white Vans. Without Vine eyebrows would look good but never be “on fleek”. Vine brought us memes. Vine brought us laughs. And now, it is time to say goodbye.  But don’t fret – the co-founders have a new trick up their sleeves. Get hyped for their new app… called Hype.

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