Vine used to be one of the most popular apps available for your phone. It spawned countless memes. Who can forget the Peanut Butter Baby or Damn, Daniel? It created many cultural phenomenons. Things like the Harlem Shake or the Whip and Nae Nae spread from Vine to the Today Show to your mom embarrassing you in public. Even dabbing grew in popularity partly thanks to Vine.
It created a whole new class of celebrities known as Vine Stars, comprised of musicians, magicians, comedians, models, and current celebrities trying a new avenue to promote themselves. These Vine Stars used the medium to document their lives, make jokes, and try to be creative in a very short time.
But now? The Vine app was used by 3.64 percent of Android users in August of 2014 and has dropped down to .66 percent. It used to be one of the Top 10 apps in the Apple app store and now is nowhere to be seen on the top charts. Twitter announced recently that it would be shutting down the Vine app and no new Vines could be made with the platform. So what caused Vine to die? What led to the Vine's final six seconds?
VINE STOPPED GROWING
Well, not to point fingers, but Vine did it to themselves. Vine was pretty successful with finding its user base, but once it did, it struggled to grow its base beyond what had already been established. After a time, when the user base began to grow bored, the number of users just continued to drop. Users began to leave because competitors such as Instagram and Snapchat continued to add new features and new design elements that either offered the same elements that Vine had or new, exciting elements. Vine remained stagnant. Teenagers, who comprised much of Vine’s user base, stopped caring.
IT DOESN’T MAKE ANY CENTS
Vine also made a huge mistake in how it failed to make money. They struggled with ways to make the app profitable. They never took a cut from Vines that promoted a product and didn’t allow promoted ads, despite their competitors being willing to do this. Without this kind of revenue, Vine was unable to grow or make money. The Vine Stars that made Vine what it was began to demand to get paid for their views, in a similar way to how YouTubers can become paid. Vine refused. The app built itself around its Vine Stars but didn’t respect them enough to pay them, leading to a mass exodus of Vine Stars to other apps and platforms.
ON TO THE NEXT ONE
So what can we learn from this? Sure, Vine made some bad decisions, but how does that affect how we should use inbound marketing and social media? Our takeaway should be that we must always be willing to look forward and be ready to evolve to or with the next platform. Vine was a great tool while it lasted, but now it’s Instagram Video and Snapchat that we should be using instead. In six months or a year, it could be something completely different. (My bet is on a virtual reality social media platform). We must be mobile and willing to adapt to the next big thing, instead of staying comfortable in what we know.
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