Jenna Gyimesi | Oberlin College 

Vine was a unique and exciting social media platform that allowed everyday people to produce entertaining media clips. Vine videos were created by people, and destroyed by business.

Before its demise, Vine was owned by Twitter. The company was once a profit powerhouse even though the company faced fierce competitors like Google and Facebook. Lately, Twitter has been struggling to maintain profitability and has been losing its investors interests. The company was once worth $31 billion. The company’s value was at an all-time low of 17$ billion and cut 350 employees in attempts to return to economic stability when the company discontinued Vine one year ago. Vine was killed in an attempt to regain the company’s economic positioning.

Vine was shut down because increased competition made Vine obsolete. Vine was, at one point, the only platform that allowed users to create short, looping videos. Vines popularity showed that the masses were interested in creating simple videos in this format. To meet that growing interest, Instagram and Snapchat widened their medias abilities and allowed users to create similar videos on their platforms. Instagram and Snapchat users could then produce videos and post them on previously established accounts. Competition therefore forced Vine out of popularity.

Further, Vine died because it was difficult for users and advertisers to make a profit. Popular Vine users often abandoned Vine for platforms with a higher likelihood of personal economic benefit. Vine allowed the everyday person to gain rapid popularity, but once that popularity was achieved Vine was no longer necessary. Vine users often chose to develop extensive YouTube pages, or Facebook accounts, because users could sell more advertisements on their content on these sites. Additionally, marketers could not insert valuable advertisements into 6-second video clips and were reluctant to invest in Vine producers. Vine was thus killed for the sake of individual and corporate profit.

Vine’s death also marked the death of short media. Vine gave the population the ability to produce simply, snappy videos.   The videos did not require extensive access to capital resources or production materials. Other platforms, like YouTube, incentivize long videos because YouTube rewards users based off of total hours watched instead of total video views, or number of subscribers. Users are thus motivated to create longer, advertise ridden videos that lack the uncomplicated, and straightforward appeal of Vine videos.  

Vine inspired users to produce something different, and uncommon. Other platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram are becoming more similar to one another as time progresses.  The media content posted on each platform is almost entirely interchangeable. Vine, unlike these other platforms, promoted individual creativity.