As of yesterday, the news broke that Vine will be ceasing operations soon. The popular six second video platform is being discontinued by Twitter following a decision to cut 9% of it’s staff.
No real reasons have been given for the closure of Vine in the announcement blog, but it’s clear that Twitter’s slow growth is part of the reason it has to go. There’s no set date on when it will end yet, and creators have been told that the website will remain online so viewers can still access their favourite Vines.
This is a shock for those who still use the app, as the service was only launched in 2013. When it first came out, there was a lot of confusion. Why were the videos only six seconds long? Who would want to watch them?
Surprisingly, a lot of people did. Content creators found that you can fit an awful lot into six seconds, and Vine became a place that played host to a unique brand of comedy.
This, in turn, lead to the rise of the ‘Vine celebrity’. These creators, such as Nash Grier and Jerome Jarre, made enough to make ‘Vining’ their only job, and even went on international tours to meet their fans. They became so popular that their work on Vine was aired on the Ellen DeGeneres show, a first for the video platform. In short, they were the creators that Vine relied upon.
However, these creators and more mainstream celebrities, such as Justin Bieber, have been leaving Vine in their droves. There’s no one reason for this, but it seems that they’re sticking to more established forms of social media. Instagram and Snapchat offer some of the same functionality, but offer their users more than just the six second video loop.
And therein lies the problem with Vine. The concept itself was fun and many people got in on the act. When the novelty wore off though, there was little reason to keep using it. Instagram and Snapchat offer several different features, meaning users will stay with them longer and get more use out of them.
The death of Vine could go one of two ways. With Twitter no longer focusing on a separate app they can concentrate on adding similar functionality to it’s own app. It could also mean that Twitter may be going the same way, if they don’t find a way to draw back their user base. What will happen though remains to be seen.