By now everyone is aware that Vine is shutting down. Vine is an app that allows users to upload and share personal 6 second looping videos. While rumors are circulating that parent-company Twitter might sell the app instead of deleting it entirely, it’s common knowledge to smartphone users that Vine’s popularity decreased since its launch in 2013.
This news is important for anyone aspiring to have a career in social media. Many of the app’s users rose to fame because of their Vine content. “Viners” such as Hayes Grier, Page Kennedy and Logan Paul became millionaires from the platform and have millions of followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. How did a 6 second video result in millions of dollars you ask?
This is the key for every social media platform. In Vine’s case, this is most likely why the company flourished and eventually failed. In the beginning, Viners would be contacted by a corporation asking to use product placement in their Vines. This was effective because Vines were shared and viewed by millions on the Vine app and, more importantly, on other popular social media platforms.
The trouble came when sponsorships on Vine became compared to sponsorships on YouTube. YouTube is similar to Vine in terms of uploading and sharing videos, but YouTube has a much longer video time limit than Vine. Longer videos mean larger content and greater opportunity for corporations to show actual commercials prior to a YouTube video. This was not an option for Vine: viewers would be unhappy if they had to wait through one full commercial before viewing a 6 second Vine.
Another major downfall for the app was Instagram’s video integration. When Instagram noticed Vine’s rising popularity, it was quick to add a short video feature to its own platform. This shifted attention away from Vine and onto Instagram. Instagram offered more. Users could post and share a combination of longer videos and pictures which was less restrictive compared to Vine’s approach.
This situation is a lesson for both sponsors and content creators to not rely too heavily on one social media platform. Many Viners are now losing their only source of income due to the Vine shutdown. The ones who will continue to succeed are those who used Vine to supplement their other social media, namely YouTube.
Social media is continually changing. Keep this in mind when building your professional or personal brand: What is popular in 2016 might not make it until the end of the decade. Always anticipate what is next.
Written by Elizabeth Lynch
PRecisely PR is the blog of the Illinois State University Chapter of the PRSSA. We write about Chapter events, the public relations industry, member profiles, and more.