What Happened to Vine?

Today, visuals are ruling social media. They include images, videos, GIFs, and any other visual format you can think of. It’s clear that text isn’t as relevant online as it used to be. There is, however, one particular visual format that is continuing to gain popularity amongst its users faster than any other form of social media communication. Video is the future of social media and the digital world and it’s inevitable that it will continue to progress even further. That is why visual-based apps, such as Vine, came into fruition. This demand for visuals, more specifically videos, meant that it was the perfect time for Dom Hofmann, Rus Yusupov, and Colin Kroll to co-found Vine back in 2012.

The death of Vine is old news by now. But some are still remembering and talking about its impact thanks to the announcement of a possible second generation of the app a few months ago. However, the release of this so-called “Vine 2” has been postponed for an indefinite amount of time according to Dom Hofmann. So why did Vine die? And why is a Vine reboot being postponed? What can we learn from Vine’s death in the context of Visual Content Marketing? And what visual-based apps will continue to grow and develop into the future?

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We’ve put forward three main arguments as to why Vine didn’t survive longer than it did. We’ve also suggested some solutions for brands and businesses that will help them to avoid making the mistakes Vine made when it comes to their Video Marketing strategies.

1. Vine relied too heavily on its creators:

It seems obvious, but an app such as Vine requires its users and creators to participate in order for it to survive. This means that professional Viners need to be posting frequently in order to keep the viewers entertained which will ultimately encourage them to come back to the app. If this doesn’t happen, it would simply collapse and evidently there would be no reason for it to remain in existence.

While this didn’t happen in an extreme sense, other platforms were doing similar things to Vine, but better. Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube, etc. did indeed host many professional creators, but they also had brands, businesses, and a lot more amateur creators and users on their platforms posting, liking, and sharing. Of course it helps to have professional content creators, but they aren’t the be all and end all of these apps/ websites. Vine, however, needed its professional creators more than its amateur users. And with professional Viners gradually moving to the likes of YouTube and Instagram, there was no way Vine could reign them back in, or if there was, it didn’t seem to try very hard.

What we can learn:

Brands should avoid relying on a very narrow and rigid clientbase or target audience. If this is unavoidable, it’s highly important that you are always ahead of the competition. Keep offering your customers the best product or service on the market by improving and enhancing whatever features you already provide. Which brings us onto the next point…

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2. Vine was behind the curve too frequently:

Instagram and Snapchat introduced the same feature that was Vine’s entire model. But the difference was that while Vine only provided 6 second long videos, Instagram and Snapchat provided 10 seconds. And as the years went on, Instagram and Snapchat continued to increase the length allowed for their videos. And with the recent launch of Instagram’s IGTV, long-form video is now available on the app.

In addition to a longer video length, both platforms, particularly Instagram, provided users with more features. Filters are just one example, but both apps continued to add more and more features to enhance and improve what they originally offered, while Vine, well, didn’t. Vine’s failure can also be seen through the eyes of YouTube’s viewers. They have been posting and watching Vine compilations on the site since Vine’s inception, so the need for Vine to remain in existence simply evaporated along with the trend of creating six-second-long videos.

What we can learn:

Growth and development is needed if you want to sell a product. The same should be said for apps. If you want to keep your users happy then it’s ultimately your responsibility to keep up with the times and enhance the product they already know and love. Otherwise, the competition will always win.

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3. Vine wasn’t a sustainable platform:

This is meant in every sense. Vine’s professional creators couldn’t maintain a career, let alone reach creative capacity with mere six second-long videos. While many Viners did have a well-established career making Vines, for most it simply wasn’t the limit to where they wanted that career to go. In the beginnings of the app, it was challenging for Viners to come up with a funny video in just six seconds which did force them to be creative in their approach to filming and editing them. However, a lot of professional Viners moved on to bigger and often better things, such as YouTube and television before Vine even ended.

Without new features to help Viners advance their careers, it became more and more difficult for them to expand their creativity and there was no more room for their career to fully take off. Maybe this was negligence on Vine’s part, but they’re not all to blame. Some professional Viners did leave the app completely, some started posting to Vine less and less, and others gradually moved from Vine to other platforms. And that is what ultimately killed Vine, but without any growth, enhancement, or improvement of the app for its creators, it was inevitable that they would move elsewhere.

What we can learn:

Don’t neglect your audience. A lot of the time, it can be said that the users of many apps dislike change. For example, Twitter and Instagram made alterations to the structure in which posts appear on their feeds from a chronological to an algorithm-based order. Additionally, Snapchat completely changed the format of their feed and it appears to have been taken over largely by ads. However, despite these changes, people are still coming back to these apps. It’s hard to say exactly why this is, but there’s no doubt that their constant updates and improvements are to thank for the majority of their users’ loyalty. Which only proves that caring about what you are providing your audience works in order to maintain that loyalty.