The problems appear to be growing for Twitter, now creators on their once popular Vine app are leaving for YouTube, Facebook or Snapchat instead. Vine was launched in January 2013 and it started as the app that nobody thought was going to work. How could 6 second video clips actually work?
Vine blossomed purely because of the sheer creativity of its users and gave rise to a number of internet stars. The app itself has not really changed all that much. Sure they have added features and tweaked the UI but there has been nothing ground breaking.
Now there is a bigger issue brewing, people are starting to leave. Digiday analysed 9,725 Vine users with more than 15,000 followers. 52% have exited the platform since January 1st. I loved Vine when it first started out however I have even noticed myself that many of the people I followed on Vine simply don’t create there any more.
Amanda Cerny, Meghan McCarthy, Logan Paul and plenty other users are not creating as much as they once did. They have moved elsewhere, but why?
We need to start by looking at the app. The unique selling point of Vine has always been that you have 6 seconds to convey a message or a story. While that is the main selling point, it also means that the app is extremely limited. It is hardly a surprise that creators are starting to jump ship to platforms where they can post more varied long form content.
As their fan bases have grown, the need for long form content where they can engage with those fans and interact with them has also grown. The real big problem Vine has though is that short form video content is now being done much better by Snapchat. Snapchat has innovated short form video with geo-filters, stickers, emoji, the ability to draw and write on the screen – not to mention the fact that Snapchat has become much more popular so creators want to go where the audience is.
No platform for ads.
It is hard for creators on Vine to make money easily. Sure they can make money but there is no dedicated ad platform available on Vine. That is great for the user, no ads – yippee! However it is not great for the creators and when they look at rival platforms like Facebook and YouTube and they see the amount of money people can pull in with ads – well it ends up being a no brainer.
If a creator wants to make money on Vine then they need to deal directly with the company who wants to advertise on the platform. The both the creator and the company are hampered by the platform limitations. Look at any ad on Vine which has been made by a creator. Trying to cram something funny and an ad into 6 seconds tends to be a mess and more often than not it makes me cringe.
What can Vine do?
Much like the company which owns Vine (Twitter), both platforms are failing to innovate and move with the industry. Twitter needs to invest in the app and provide new features that basically make it more like Snapchat. However, even that may not be enough to save it. The biggest problem could end up being with the fact that it is a 6 second video app.
To be frank, Twitter has enough of its own problems right now and I struggle to see how Vine could survive. Twitter needs to invest in themselves before they even start to consider investing in Vine. Perhaps the best move will be to let the app wind down and cut it off at a later time.