There’s a lot of talk about how short-form video is king in the online world, so the closure of Vine seems almost counterintuitive.
The square format and 6-second time limit of Vine meant creators were forced to be even more… well, creative with their output. The results were as magnificent as they were hilarious: beautiful animations, musical creations and of course, endless video memes that managed to make even the smallest thing seem utterly hilarious. And let’s take a moment to remember that Vine was the birthplace of the once-ubiquitous phrase “on fleek”.
As with any social platform, the growth of Vine drove the growth of so-called Vine Stars – content creators who’d racked up millions of followers and Loops, and were soon being offered a LOT of money to create sponsored, branded content.
So, why shut it down?
While Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat have all shown some element of growth, a recent study showed that Vine engagements are at an all-time low and more than half of the platform’s top influencers had left the platform as of May this year.
Twitter is trying to run a profitable company (especially important at the moment), and having already got rid of a significant percentage of its workforce, it was natural that it would look elsewhere soon enough for ways to increase the profitability. If it gets rid of Vine, it’s able to focus more on its core offering to make this as attractive as possible for potential buyers.
Platform innovation – or the lack thereof in the case of Vine – is sure to have been a contributing factor. At its inception, Vine’s premise was new and exciting but 4 years later, not much has changed on the platform. While Facebook and Instagram introduced new feature after new feature (Messenger, Live, Stories and much more), Vine stuck to its roots for much of its 4-year life.
There was of course, the introduction of #beyondtheVine in June this year – Twitter’s last ditch attempt to revive the platform, but that was about as far as they went with it.
Vine will go down in history as a much-loved app which was an early pioneer for great short-form video content that is now the standard on social platform, but ultimately it comes down to something as simple as this: If short-form video is king, innovation is its crowning glory.
So the question is… what’s next for Twitter, Vine Stars and looping video?