The Death Of Vine - 3 Lessons To Take Away

On the 17th of January, Twitter's video based social network, Vine, will be shut down for good. Well, sort of... Although the app will be shut down and no longer running, Vine Camera will appear in it's place like Lazarus rising from the grave. What this means is that users will still be able to create the loveable 7 second looping videos, but the wider network Vine once offered won't be there, instead the videos will be saved to your phone or posted directly to Twitter.

Despite the death and imminent resurrection of Vine scheduled for next week there are lessons that can be taken from the short life span of the app, relevant to any business or user of social media.

1. Always look for opportunity

Vine at its most successful was popular for one reason in particular - Vine stars. People used vine simply to follow the funny content created by these opportunists, since then they've moved on to other platforms and create their content on YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat etc. But it was Vine that made them the followers they have today. Why? Well, YouTube is THE place for video content, everyone knows that, but it's also a wildly competitive market, why should someone follow your vlog? There's literally thousands if not millions of other channels, doing the same thing - and probably better than you are! Vine however, was a new crowd, a smaller crowd but still big enough to be used as a springboard, and that's exactly what a good number of smart people did. Case in point - King Bach - he earned 16.1 million followers and over six billion loops on Vine, making him the most popular person on the app. It's what made him famous yet he now has roles in TV, film, and over 1 million subscribers on his YouTube channel, would he be where he is today without Vine? Probably not, but by jumping on what was a new, young platform and standing out in the crowd before it got too busy, he was able to make a name for himself and take that success on to greater things.

King Bach - Actor, Director, Vlogger made famous by Vine.

King Bach - Actor, Director, Vlogger made famous by Vine.

2. Many eggs, many baskets

As we've seen from the previous point, individuals found success by using Vine as a springboard, having 16 million followers on any network is amazing, but now that we know the fate of Vine it puts into perspective that you shouldn't rely on just one network. Similar to the demise of MySpace, there will be people who have worked hard and created the content to attract the followers but when the network dies so does all that hard work; and overnight, those hundreds, or thousands, or millions of followers that you had are gone - if you relied solely on that one network. Arguably, Facebook is perhaps different as it's so huge and has been around so long it seems pretty safe, but platforms are always open to an algorithm change (as seen with Instagram) which can just as easily affect your potential reach and ruin the previous success you've experienced. So, utilise multiple platforms, and use them differently, capitalising on what makes that specific platform unique, that way if a network dies you still have your other avenues in which to reach followers, fans and customers. 

3. Adapt & Evolve

Vine may be dead, but not all is lost. With the app, video use on social media has been completely revolutionised. Vine's death lies in the hands of Instagram, bringing 15, then 30, then 60 second videos to the platform, essentially stealing all that made Vine unique but introducing it to a network which was already far bigger and more profitable. However, this does show that Vine left a mark, it's only failing was being copied by its biggest competitor and not protecting itself. However, as we already know Vine isn't completely dead, it's just becoming a smaller (though arguably slightly pointless) app for taking short loopable videos. But at least it's doing something! Twitter can't go back and change the past with a an old, slightly crazy man and his Delorean but they can move forward and see what's next in store. You learn from the mistakes, adapt when things go wrong and come back later with a better idea!

Stephen BradleyComment