Vine – In Memoriam: 2012-2016

Estimated Reading Time 5 minutes

The popularity and almost overnight success of Vine in 2012 was startling. People’s attention spans really had shortened to just 6 seconds.

It seems that those 6 seconds would only last 4 years as in the last couple of weeks, Twitter have announced that they will be pulling the plug on the much loved short video service.

Overnight Success

When Twitter bought Vine in 2012 it was the video equivalent to their 140 character limited message. By its release in January 2013 millions were drawn in by this reconstructed visual Twitter, taking on the challenge of who could have the most impressive burst of 6 second creativity.

Millions of users registered and uploaded as wave after wave of 6 second sketches, songs, dances, sports highlights, and animals were shared on the service.

The Rise Of The Influencer

As the video sharing services popularity snowballed to over 200 million users and 1 billion vine loops played daily, brands and marketers started to sit up and take notice. Being drawn in by all these eyeballs on the service, as well as 71% of Vines audience being millennials, it helped spearhead a new kind of celebrity; the social media star.

Users such as Nash Grier, Thomas Sandes, Lele Pons, would have tens of millions of followers and their videos be looped over a billion times, with such a strong following they could command tens of thousands of dollars to make Vines with branded content on their channels.

Amanda Cerny $650,000
Lele Pons $765,000
Jake Paul $1,000,000
Cameron Dallas $1,200,000
Taylor Caniff $1,500,000
Logan Paul $1,600,000
Page Kennedy $2,000,000
Hayes Grier $2,100,000
King Bach $2,800,000
Nash Grier $3,100,000

The Honeymoon Period Was Over

Despite huge startup success and growth however, Vine would never be able to fully capitalise on such a big millennial market. You could argue that being owned by a money leaking machine like Twitter they were always a novelty that was doomed from the start, but because of a failing model and no intention of evolving with the times they have found themselves being their own worst enemies.

They never found a way to make big advertising bucks despite the large market of millennials they had acquired; why would anyone want to watch a ten second ad just to watch a 6 second clip?  The success and evolution of the likes of Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope, and now Facebook Live have saturated the video sharing services market, leaving Vine finding it hard to compete.

This competition coupled with a poor strategy and failing business model, not to mention Twitter in desperate need of cutting cost, left them with little choice but to at the end of October 2016, announce they would pull the plug on the service.

Lessons To Be Learnt?

While others around them continued to grow and change with the times, Vine got people’s attention, but failed to ever do anything with it.

With Facebook tweaking and tinkering nearly every day, Snapchat having more updates than I care to remember and Instagram now rolling out the “Instagram Stories” feature (I wonder where they got that idea), this solidifies my point that standing still in a digital world can be company suicide – nothing is sacred in any marketplace!

To see how you can harness the power of social for your business get in touch with one of the team at Digital Clarity today.

Nick Blane
Nick is a recent graduate of Music and Live Events Management from Bucks New University in High Wycombe. Though his business background centred within the music industry, his exposure and involvement in marketing and social media engagement for brands, helped him take a more holistic approach and apply his connection of digital with sociology along with his entrepreneurial skills.