|Developer(s)||Vine Labs, Inc. (Twitter)|
|Initial release||January 24, 2013– January 17, 2017|
|Operating system||Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Xbox One|
|Available in||25 languages|
Vine was an American social networking short-form video hosting service where users could share six second-long, looping video clips. It was founded in June 2012; American microblogging website Twitter acquired it in October 2012, before its official release on January 24, 2013. Videos published on Vine's social network could also be shared on different social networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. The Vine app was also used to try to browse videos, along with a group of videos that were uploaded by theme, and hoping that users could "trend" videos. Vine competed with other social media services such as Instagram and Pheed.
By December 2015, Vine had over 200 million active users. On October 27, 2016, Twitter announced that it would disable all uploads, but that viewing and download would continue to work. On January 20, 2017, Twitter launched an Internet archive of all Vine videos that had ever been published. The archive was officially discontinued in April 2019.
In December 2017, co-founder Dom Hofmann announced that he was beginning to work on Vine's successor, Byte, which he said was not affiliated with Twitter. However, in May 2018, Hofmann posted on Byte's community forums that the project was postponed due to "financial, rising prices and legal hurdles". Byte finally launched in January 2020 after an extensive beta program.
History and evolution of vines
Vine was founded by Dom Hofmann, Rus Yusupov, and Colin Kroll in June 2012. The company was acquired by Twitter in October 2012 for a reported $30 million but was later reformed as Intermedia Labs. Vine launched on January 24, 2013, as a free app for iOS devices. An Android version was released on June 2, 2013. On November 12, 2013, the application was released for Windows Phone. In a couple of months, Vine became the most used video sharing application in the market, even with low adoption of the app. On April 9, 2013, Vine became the most downloaded free app within the iOS App Store and on May 1, 2014, Vine launched the web version of the service to explore videos.
In July 2014, Vine updated its app with a new "loop count" meaning every time someone watches a vine, a number on top of the video will appear showing how many times it was viewed. The "loop count" also includes views from vines that are embedded onto other websites. On October 14, 2014, an Xbox One version was released allowing Xbox Live members to watch the looping videos.
In August 2015, Vine introduced Vine Music, whose "Snap to Beat" feature creates perfect infinite music loops. In June 2016, Vine announced that it was experimenting with letting users attach video clips up to 140 seconds. In November 2018, co-founder Dom Hoffman announced the upcoming successor to Vine, Byte, also previously known as V2; it was slated to come out in spring 2019. The byte application launched publicly a year later on January 24, 2020.
In January 2015, Vine launched Vine Kids, an app for IOS that was designed specifically for children aged 7 to 12. It was designed by a group of Vine employees in order to try to create a safer space for younger users to eventually watch content which was deemed appropriate for children. Every video posted to the app was selected by Vine employees to ensure their safety.
Vine's Head of Communication and Marketing, Carolyn Penner, noting the features of the app, told CNN that "children can always swipe back and forth on the mobile screen to find new videos, and they can also tap on the screen to produce some sound effects".
On October 27, 2016, Vine announced that Twitter would be discontinuing the Vine mobile app. Vine said users of the service will be notified before any changes to the app or website are made. The company also stated that the website and the app will still be available for users to view and download Vines; however, users will no longer be able to post.
The discontinuation of Vine came as many different competing platforms began to introduce their own equivalents to Vine's short-form video approach. Platforms such as Instagram began to introduce their own takes on the short video angle, such as Instagram Video, where users were able to upload 15-second videos to their profiles. "Instagram video was the beginning of the end", said a former Vine executive during an interview with online tech news site The Verge.
Marketers leaving the platform was also a large part of the decision by Twitter to discontinue Vine. Many monetary sources began to move to longer short video platforms, and with them followed many popular Vine creators. Since the start of 2016, more than half of Vine users with more than 15,000 followers had ceased uploading or had deleted their accounts to move on to other platforms such as YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat. Vine executives and co founders were supposedly against monetization and did not take money from many brands, which is said to have led to Twitter's discontinuation of the service.
On December 16, 2016, it was announced that the Vine mobile app would remain operational as a standalone service, allowing users to publish their videos directly to Twitter instead of Vine; the Vine community website would shut down in January. On January 17, 2017, the app was renamed to "Vine Camera." Although the app still enables users to record six-second videos, they can only be shared on Twitter or saved on a camera roll. The release of the Vine Camera was met with poor reviews on both the Android and iOS App Stores. On January 20, 2017, Twitter launched an Internet archive of all Vine videos, allowing people to continue watching previously filmed Vine videos however in 2019 this was also removed by Twitter.
In a 2019 article, The Verge reported that due to the closure of Vine, many of its influencers, like Jake and Logan Paul, Lele Pons, Liza Koshy, Danny Gonzalez, David Dobrik, and singer Shawn Mendes had migrated to other video-sharing platforms and social media.
Vine enabled users to record short video clips up to around six seconds long while recording through its in-app camera. The camera would record only while the screen is being touched, enabling users to edit on the fly or create stop motion effects. Additional features were added to the app in July 2013; these include grid and ghost image tools for the camera, curated channels (including themed areas and trending topics/users), the ability to "revine" videos on a personal stream, and protected posts.
Vine attracted different types of uses, including short-form comedy and music performances, video editing, and stop motion animation. On February 1, 2013, a Turkish journalist used Vine to document the aftermath of the 2013 United States embassy bombing in Ankara. Vine had also gained ground as a promotional tool; in 2013, the track listing of Daft Punk's album Random Access Memories was revealed via a Vine video, and on September 9, 2013, Dunkin Donuts became the first company to use a single Vine as an entire television advertisement. A&W Restaurants launched its Mini Polar Swirls on Vine on April 1, 2014, with the claim that it was the first product launch on Vine.
Music-oriented videos also shared success on the service; in July 2013, a Vine post featuring a group of women twerking to the 2012 song "Don't Drop That Thun Thun" became popular, spawned response videos, and led the previously-obscure song to peak at number 35 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In March 2013, 22 Vines were presented in an exhibit entitled #SVAES (The Shortest Video Art Ever Sold) at the Moving Image art fair in New York City. Copies of the videos were available to purchase on thumb drives for US$200 each. Angela Washko's "Tits on Tits on Ikea" was sold to Dutch art advisor, curator and collector Myriam Vanneschi, during the event, marking the first-ever sale of a Vine as art.
Following the shooting of Michael Brown in August 2014, then-St Louis City Alderman Antonio French used Vine as a way to document the protests in Ferguson and the surrounding area. These videos were among the earliest accounts of the racial tensions in Ferguson, and helped bring national attention to the situation.
A BBC review described collections of Vine videos as "mesmerizing", like "[watching a] bewildering carousel of six-second slices of ordinary life [roll] past."
An article by The New Yorker investigated the impact of online video platforms in creating a new generation of celebrities, stating: "A Vine's blink-quick transience, combined with its endless looping, simultaneously squeezes time and stretches it." While a given loop's brevity seems to "squeeze time", repeated viewings allow users to absorb rich detail, thereby subjectively "stretching time". Vine was hailed for being a space that allowed for black creatives to thrive, allowing them to show off their talents in a free application that anyone could use or see. In a similar vein it also brought attention to many who became big artists, such as Shawn Mendes and Ruth B.
Many other brands used the free service as a platform for advertising their products, showing off exclusive content and creating contests to keep consumers interested in the brand. Cadbury UK had used their profile to show off new confectionaries that were in the making and created a contest around giving out samples to keep people coming back to the chocolate company, Many local bookstores and big brand name ones used the site to show off new books that may be in store. Other companies developed a more personal connection with consumers using their six-second videos. This also allowed fans of different brands to show off their loyalty to the brand and in turn advertised the brand from a different perspective, this may have included makeup videos and the like.
Soon after its launch, Vine faced criticism for how it handled pornography; while porn is not forbidden by Twitter's guidelines, one sexually explicit clip was accidentally featured as an "Editor's Pick" in the Vine app as a result of "human error". Because pornographic content violates Apple's terms of service, the app's rating was changed to 17+ in February 2013 following a request by Apple. Vine was listed among Time's '50 Best Android Apps for 2013'.
Instagram added 15-second video sharing in June 2013. Since then, the video functionality expanded with additional features: widescreen videos, 60-second videos, and up to 10 minutes of video in a multi-video post. As with Vine, Instagram videos loop and have no playback controls by default. Snapchat added 10-second video sharing in December 2012.
TikTok is an app (called Douyin in China) created a few months before the discontinuation of Vine. Its current edition is the result of the merger of the original TikTok app with Musical.ly, which was founded in 2014 and became popular in 2015. TikTok is similar to Vine in that it is a simple short video platform with the added option of Duet, meaning that two different TikTok creators may collaborate at different times to create a final video; The Verge called it "the closest thing we'll get to having Vine back". TikTok is not much younger than Vine, as its predecessor Musical.ly was introduced only a year after Vine's inception, but it exploded in popularity in the late 2010s, the years after the Vine app was shut down.
Byte (originally dubbed 'V2') is a successor to Vine. It was created by a team led by Vine co-founder Dom Hofmann. Videos can last between two and six-and-a-half seconds and loop continuously. The launch had originally been planned for mid-2018, but reports showed that Hofmann had already started reaching out to social media personalities in hopes to secure viral content for the new platform. On May 4, 2018, Hofmann announced on the V2 community forums website and the official Twitter account that the project had been postponed indefinitely. On November 8, 2018, Hofmann announced the official name for 'V2' would be 'Byte', and that it was set for release in the spring of 2019. Byte underwent a closed beta period with community members from a Byte dedicated forum who were invited to test the app. Byte was officially launched on the iOS and Android stores on January 24, 2020.
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