For four years, Vine has delighted many college students with its six-second loops. But the video app is being shuttered by parent company Twitter. Many are wondering if the next social media app to go will be Twitter, especially after the company also announced job cuts.
Let’s take a moment to mourn Vine and prepare for what lies ahead in the world of social media.
How this affects Twitter
Twitter bought Vine in 2012, and while Vine wasn’t the only video app in the world of social media, it was the only one with access to Twitter’s user base. The decision to shutter Vine in the coming months (although the video app will be gone, a website will remain according to the announcement), came on the heels of word from Twitter that nine percent of their staff was being cut, or about 350 employees. Both the job cuts and the Vine decision are an effort to make Twitter profitable. Not only is Twitter not currently profitable, it has never made a profit. Meanwhile it has also lost 2 million customers in the final months of 2015 and $2 billion total since 2011.
Snapchat and Instagram’s expansions into the social media video app world both contributed to the decision to shut down Vine. And although Vine had a devoted community, with many influential users, it never gelled as a place where everyone felt comfortable posting. As a result, it dropped out of the top 100 free apps list for Apple’s App Store earlier in 2016. Vine was never able to rebound, instead its popularity continued to decline.
Why Vine was great
Vine created a lot of sensations, from dance crazes to singers and musicians that everyone, college students and beyond enjoyed. Rolling Stone’s Brittany Spanos offered, “8 Reasons Why Vine Mattered” on October 27, 2016, highlighting what made the social media video app so popular and important. Included in the list was the exposure that Vine gave many young African Americans, who catapulted to fame via their six-second loops. Spanos cited, “Bobby Shmurda’s “Shmoney” dance, the invention of the term “on fleek” and the popularization of songs like Silentó’s “Watch Me” in particular.
Pop stars such as Ruth B. and Shawn Mendez also owe a lot of their current success to Vine, where they posted snippets of their songs or covers. Vine also brought a new generation of comedy to the attention of college students and its other users, particularly in the realms of sketch comedy and impersonations. Finally, without Vine, Snapchat and Musical.ly might not have achieved their current followings.
The future of Vine’s stars
Many of the creative users of the video app had started to move on to other social media sites as early as 2014 due to what many felt was Vine’s inability to support its content creators. One popular Vine creator, Jessi Smiles, explained in a NBC post “she gradually began posting less on Vine after she felt it started to become a numbers game to see who could get the most views and content quality, and community, took a backseat.” Many Vine posters have already started steering viewers to their other social media platforms, prior to the closure announcement.
Any additional changes or updates will be made on the website, according to the announcement Twitter made, and many Vine aficionados hope the company will maintain an archive of footage on the website.