Twitter finally held a memorial for the short-video sharing app and social platform Vine. After four years of 6-second, then 10-second, then 10-minute videos, they have said their goodbyes.
Twitter released this statement on its blog:
Since 2013, millions of people have turned to Vine to laugh at loops and see creativity unfold. Today, we are sharing the news that in the coming months we’ll be discontinuing the mobile app.
Thank you. Thank you. To all the creators out there — thank you for taking a chance on this app back in the day. To the many team members over the years who made this what it was — thank you for your contributions. And of course, thank you to all of those who came to watch and laugh every day.
Vine’s demise was a mixture of certain inevitable circumstance: 1. It didn’t capitalize on its niche (“Black Twitter”) 3. It was bought by Twitter 3. It had no commercial stability
No Love For Its Niche “Black Twitter”
In most cases, marketers focus on the consumers that value and use their products and services the most, that wasn’t the case for Vine.For those unfamiliar with “Black Twitter” is a digital collective that dictates trends and pop culture and participates in political, social, cultural, and economic discussion on Twitter. Vine effectively ignored and failed to nurture its biggest creators and consumers. Furthermore, it failed to broker any exclusive sponsorships with websites like WorldStarHipHop and urban internet personalities that generated some of the most memorable videos on the web. It undercut and undervalued this subset of culture thus marking it for death in the process.
It Was Eaten and Spit Out By Twitter
Of course, any one of us would jump at the idea of being bought by the behemoth that is Twitter. So we can’t exactly blame them for snagging the opportunity for nothing short of $30 million. The problem is Twitter had no idea how to make the app work for its benefit. Albeit (momentary) exclusive claim to video rights on Twitter, Vine was just another app to be acquired because it was hot at the time and Twitter wanted in on the action without a full plan. As a result, Vine was left to its own devices in 2014 and wasn’t able to recover moving forward.
Here is what the creator of vine had to say upon finding out about the dissolution:
Don’t sell your company!
— Rus (@rus) October 27, 2016
The writings were on the wall when Twitter fired him last year.
Commercial, What Commerical?
The app, for what it was worth, was incapable of monetizing its features or Twitter simply didn’t see a need. Brands flocked to the new app in 2013 like any other new and shiny toy. They pumped out short-form videos, but the rewards were few and far between. Unlike SnapChat and Instagram, who have made short video advertising an art form, Vine and Twitter just failed to make the app attractive to marketers. The analytics were off compared to other video sharing apps. There were sponsored vines but didn’t pack the punch that was needed and lacked scalability. Once again, nurturing was nowhere to be found.
It Ushered In Short-Form Video and Was Ushered Out
Although it was the first of its kind, it started out on shaky ground and was subject to the whims of finicky consumers who are always looking for the next form of instant gratification to stimulate their need to share and consume quick information and entertainment. And left room for others platforms to flourish.
After its creation, several short-form and long-form video social platforms have taken its place. Instagram, once widely popular for its filtered photos, took over the market after being acquired by Facebook and introducing its own 15-second videos. This blow was quickly followed by SnapChat which stole much of Vine’s niche consumers while firmly holding the attention of millennials and Generation Z.