Do It for the Vine?

The Demise of One App in a Social Media Era

Vine, a worldwide app run by Twitter, enabled users to create six-second videos and post them online for others to view, like, and share. Bought from entrepreneurs Dom Hofmann, Rus Yusupov, and Colin Kroll by Twitter in October of 2012, Vine faced a lack of funding from its beginning. Despite the pleas of many, Vine owners officially shut down their mobile app in 2016.

Fans of Vine still wonder why and how such a fun, engaging app came to an early demise. Rumors and speculation surround the end of the Vine era. However, the app’s owners cite a sharp decline in users as an unconquerable obstacle.

When Vine first launched, it became very popular very quickly. Some users created videos that gained many “loops,” or views. Said users became known as Vine famous. And “do it for the Vine” became a popular phrase that challenged the app’s users to do something especially funny or witty.

Yet, as Vine famous individuals gained fame, many left the app’s shadow to begin careers in the comedy industry. Some went on to star in commercials, television shows, or even movies. But when the Vine famous left Vine, so too did their followers.

This cyclical loss of users left the app in serious debt. Forced to make across-the-board and staff cuts, Vine only employed 350 individuals in its final days—a nine percent cut from its staff at the height of the company’s operations.

Hoffman said of the rise and fall of Vine, “[i]t became pretty clear as soon after we launched…[w]atching the community and the tool push on each other was exciting and unreal, and almost immediately it became clear that Vine’s culture was going to shift towards creative and experimentation.”

Vine certainly did spur creativity and innovation. And in a decade defined by social media, one might expect nothing but success from this venture. Despite last minute money-making efforts, however, Vine simply couldn’t afford a lethal drop in users.

[Sources: SBS ; Variety; The Verge ]