what-happened-to-vine

What happened to Vine?

Vine was an American video social networking platform with a focus on looping video clips of six seconds in length, founded by Dom Hofmann, Rus Yusupov, and Colin Kroll in 2012 to help people capture casual moments in their lives and share them with their friends. Vine went on to become a massively popular platform. Yet, by 2016, Twitter discontinued the mobile app while allowing users to view or download content on the Vine website. It then announced a reconfigured app allowing creators to share content to a connected Twitter account only. This marked the end of Vine.

Background

Vine was an American video social networking platform with a focus on looping video clips of six seconds in length.

The platform was founded by Dom Hofmann, Rus Yusupov, and Colin Kroll in 2012, who had the vision to help people capture casual moments in their lives and share them with their friends.

Hofmann, Yusupov, and Kroll pitched the idea for Vine to Twitter because they believed the short-form vlogging service would complement Twitter’s short-form microblogging platform.

Twitter acquired Vine for $30 million before the app was even launched.

Vine became a massively popular platform, attracting 200 million users in the first two years, including countless celebrities.

Just four years after it was founded, Twitter discontinued the mobile app, allowing users to view or download content on the Vine website.

It then announced a reconfigured app allowing creators to share content to a connected Twitter account only.

The original app was renamed Vine Camera but faded into obscurity after suffering poor reviews and usage.

The reason for Vine’s demise is due to multiple factors. Let’s take a look at them now.

Growing competition

In the words of a former Vine executive, ”Instagram video was the beginning of the end.

When Instagram launched its video feature in 2013, users could create and share short-form videos of a maximum duration of fifteen seconds. 

This caused a mass migration of users from Vine to Instagram for nothing else but increased video length.

Failure to understand the market

As noted earlier, Vine was initially conceived as a microvlogging platform where users could share short videos with friends.

After the platform was launched, it became clear that Vine was an entertainment media platform.

It was predominantly comprised of passive viewers who preferred to consume content similar to YouTube platforms. 

This left the job of content creation to a very small percentage of users who would compromise the integrity of the whole platform if they decided to leave. 

Unfortunately, Vine gave content creators two reasons to leave the platform and take their followers with them.

First, it stubbornly adhered to a maximum video length of six seconds which was too short for a so-called microvlogging service.

Second, Vine did not allow creators to monetize their sometimes large audiences.

Platform monetization

Monetization issues were not restricted to creators. Vine, as a business, was not making any money either. 

Executives were reluctant to experiment with potential monetization methods during rapid growth periods.

Funds flowing into the Vine ecosystem were mostly sponsorship deals for the top content creators – there was no attempt to sponsor the platform itself.

Twitter made a belated attempt to monetize Vine by purchasing a social media talent agency. Still, the agency could not incentivize clients to remain on Vine in the face of better monetization on other platforms.

Parent company strategic direction

Twitter acquired Vine before it was launched to use the platform to grow its own brand and business.

Ultimately, Vine, as a standalone brand, was not a priority of Twitter shareholders.

This was exemplified when Twitter launched its own video creation feature, invalidating the need for Vine entirely.

Key takeaways:

  • Vine was a microvlogging platform founded in 2012. It quickly rose to prominence after acquiring 200 million users in the first two years of operation.
  • Four years later, the service was progressively discontinued by Twitter. Competition from Instagram was one of the primary reasons for Vine’s demise because it offered longer video length for creators.
  • Vine’s popularity was also unsustainable because of the high proportion of passive viewers when compared to content creators. Many such creators migrated to other platforms and took their audiences with them because of a lack of monetization functionality.

What if it survived?

Sometimes, an idea might be good, but the timing is wrong.

And when the market is ready for a format, things might take off quickly.

By 2018-19, the short video format exploded.

And by the 2020s, platforms like TikTok built an incredible success.

tiktok-business-model
TikTok is a creative Chinese social media platform driven by short-form video content enabling users to interact and generate content at scale. TikTok primarily makes money through advertising, generating $4.6 billion in advertising revenues in 2021, thus making it among the most popular attention-based business models or attention merchants.

So much so that TikTok is taking over the digital advertising space, which for a decade had been dominated by the Google-Facebook duopoly.

tiktok-statistics

Is Twitter resurrecting Vine?

As Elon Musk took over Twitter, he proposed a revival of the short-form video app!

As Axios reported, it seems Musk wants to try to revive Vine to make it compete against TikTok!

In a conversation over Twitter, Mr. Beast seemed intrigued by the idea.

elon-musk-mr-beast-revive-vine

Might Vine become a TikTok competitor?

Read Next: Who Owns Twitter, Twitter Business Model.

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