In 2013, Vine exploded onto the online video scene, with its six-second clips captivating audiences. More than three years later, almost all of its momentum has been sapped, and as a result, it will be shut down. Twitter, which owns the video capture app after acquiring it for $30 million back in 2012, has announced its plan to discontinue Vine at some point in the coming months.
Vine’s shutdown won’t happen immediately. Instead, as Twitter explains in a Medium post discussing the move, there will be plenty of time for users to download their Vines. For posterity’s sake, the Vine website will remain online, so that viewers may revisit their favorite six-second videos. Twitter did not reveal the exact date when it will discontinue Vine, but it did promise users it would notify them before making any changes.
“To all the creators out there — thank you for taking a chance on this app back in the day,” reads the post. “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 rose rapidly after its January 2013 launch, with the spontaneity and absurdity of its clips drawing in millions of viewers. Soon after its arrival, a colorful creative community arose around it, and brands shared their own content on the app in their attempts to reach young consumers.
Over the years, however, Vine’s drawbacks became evident. Most notably, the lack of any ad revenue hampered the amount of resources that could be invested into it, and as a result, brands and creators began to leave the app en masse in favor of the greener shores of YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. While Vine attempted to abate this exodus with several updates — for example, it opened up monetization for a select group of users — the tide ultimately proved inexorable; by July 2016, most of the app’s top executive had departed their posts.
While Vine may be biting the dust, the exciting creators who it lifted to digital prominence — from King Bach to Logan Paul to Shawn Mendes — continue to show off their skills across multiple platforms. The prowess of Vine’s community will be the app’s legacy, and it is easy to draw a straight line from the bold six-second videos Vine unleashed in 2013 to the short-form Instagram and Snapchat content that currently constitutes a large piece of the online video puzzle. So as we prepare for Vine’s demise, we can only appreciate the gifts it brought.
To send it off, a few final words: “Yeah, but that backflip, tho.”