Twitter’s Vine video service, launched in 2012, is officially closing today. It has disabled uploads with the site essentially becoming a static Vine archive. The decision, taken in October 2016, effectively downgrades Vine from an independent service to an extension or ‘add-on’ of Twitter
Vine was acquired by Twitter in 2012 for a reported 30 million, just before it’s official launch in October of the same year. Throughout 2013 and 2014 Vine’s popularity rocketed becoming the most-downloaded free app within Apple’s iOS App Store on May 1, 2014 with user numbers approaching 200 million users.
The concept behind Vine was very simple. User’s could record six second video clips through Vine’s in-app camera, only recording when the record button was being held. This enabled the users to create stop motion affects and edit the video on the fly to create content that was fun and instantaneous. Videos were shown in a constant loop giving the videos a manic, cartoon-like effect. In many ways it was the limited length of the format that inspired users to be creative and Vine quickly became a platform for to-the-point stand-up comedy, lip sync clips, zany video edits and in the six-second looping videos.
So why is Vine dead?
Vine is not making enough money. Apart from the obvious bottom line, Vine has steadily been haemorrhaging users to Instagram and Snapchat over the last 3 years. Both services enable users to post longer videos while also enabling users to add emojis and filters to their videos. Many so-called ‘Vine Stars’ moved to Instagram to avail of these features, bringing many of their followers with them.
Vine’s six second video format was never a viable platform for advertising with many companies struggling to create a strong brand identity. Platforms such as Facebook and Instagram provide marketers and advertisers with far more possibilities in terms of capitalising their media presence.
The service will be replaced by a new app, Vine Camera which will allow users to shoot 6.5 second video loops which they can post directly to Twitter. Vine Camera will allow users to create and share short video clips to twitter. As reported today by techcrunch.com, Twitter will now loop all videos under 6.5 seconds, whether they’re from Vine or elsewhere.