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For some years, in the first decade of the new millennium, Vine has been a true legend in the world of social media, as well as my favorite app, because it was part of that vanguard of mobile applications that contributed to the affirmation of video as a tool for social communication.

For Vine, the common saying that the best things are born by chance was true, because almost completely by chance, it became the main tool for creating short videos on the Internet.

It all started with a hefty sum: $30 million paid by Twitter in October 2012 to acquire the company, intending to promote Vine as the “perfect video version of Twitter.” The first version, free and for iOS, was released in January 2013, shortly followed by those for Android and Windows Phone.

Even before the launch of the app, what might seem like a major limitation for any video application worthy of the name, namely the characteristic 6-second limit imposed by Vine on the length of uploadable videos, was like gasoline thrown on the flame of creativity. Users saw in this constraint a real challenge, made even more interesting by the way these videos were presented by the platform. In Vine, in fact, each of these mini-videos was played in an infinite loop until you decided to move on to another video. These two characteristics made Vine a language of its own, a place to experiment with new things.

As Vine’s founder, Dom Hofmann, recalls, speaking of the rapid development of his creation in a sort of cultural experiment: “[the direction Vine was taking]… became quite clear shortly after launch. Watching the community and the tool push each other was exciting and surreal, and it quickly became clear that the Vine culture would move towards creativity and experimentation.”


Yet, despite its success, Vine struggled to expand its user base, to find ways to attract the market. Despite starting from a position of advantage compared to other social video applications, it failed to keep up with competitors, especially in terms of developing new features. Platforms like Snapchat, but especially Instagram, were born in an environment made fertile by Vine’s success, and when they grew up, some Vine stars began to demand compensation for posting on the platform.

Another major limitation of the platform was that it always refused, unlike Twitter, monetization in the form of sponsored content or accounts.

For a while, brands were happy to pay Vine stars directly to create branded content to share with their millions of followers, but after Snapchat and Instagram started to have hundreds of millions of daily users, and to support marketing platforms, marketer interest in Vine decreased significantly.

The stars that had become famous on Vine continued to post their work on other platforms, but paradoxically, the lack of the 6-second limit ultimately detracted from the originality, creativity, and quality of the content.

To the scenario must be added that Twitter at the time had a long period of crisis that led to the closure of Vine at the end of 2016.

On January 17, 2017, Vine transmitted the last bit, then joining the crowded graveyard of dismissed social networks. In the app stores of our smartphones, the name still appears in the lists of apps, but only because it contributes to composing that of the video editing app, “Vine Camera,” which, needless to say… is just a video editing app. All the community, creativity, laughter, and lightness that animated those fantastic four years of Vine have been lost over time, like tears, in the ra… no, just kidding, it’s not quite like that. It rarely is on the Internet.

The only way to rewatch the vines…

Successful experiences, those particularly felt by the community, flow into other experiences, change names, evolve. There is a bit of Vine in TikTok videos, in Snapchat’s, in the solutions adopted by some content creators on YouTube… nothing is lost, everything is transformed. It’s the thermodynamics of the Internet, beauty.

Sure, from a purely commercial point of view… things are a bit different. Vine is yet another demonstration of how an idea, albeit excellent, today needs planning that seriously takes into account not only the desires of the audience but also those of brands and content creators, because, after all, it is the business generated by them that allows all the gears to work properly.