This week Twitter has announced it is closing Vine, which has also coincided with it cutting it’s workforce due to slow growth of the platform.
Vine was bought by Twitter before it launched in 2012, but has failed to keep up with other platforms. The reason why it has not kept up with other social media sites and apps is actually very simple. It didn’t evolve. It’s quite Darwinian really, survival of the fittest.
With the advent of live streaming apps, like Periscope and Instagram teaming up with Boomerang for short snappy gif-like videos of you and your mates, Vine really needed to develop it’s features or create partnerships with other platforms to attract new users.
All of the major apps are changing, Facebook now has a Live feature and is soon to launch Workplace to target the world’s work force, much like Yammer did many moons ago. Snapchat introduced face swap, filters and over-lays which have been a huge hit. Instagram has a ‘stories’ function which is similar to Snapchat and well I could go on, but as you can tell, all major apps are desperately trying to keep one step ahead to secure users.
The problem is that the changes made have to be useful or fun. Workforce offers connected working across the globe, but it has to be careful to not come across the same issues as Yammer. Employees with Yammer were often spending too long on it socialising and not actually doing any work. It’s a fine line between helpful tool and distraction.
The real issue I cannot get my head around is why Vine has failed. Yes, it did not evolve and growth slowed but why? Twitter has all the resources and money to have kept developing the applications of Vine allowing it to grow and move forward. So why has it let it fail with no obvious attempt to keep it going?
Is it the strength of the competition? Have competitors already got the jump on Vine and therefore it’s cheaper to close it now than to continue? I can’t figure it out. It was so popular, it created modern phrases such as ‘on fleek’ and it has launched many new careers. It was only four years old. Perhaps the three original owners of Vine will be able to reclaim their invention, add new functions and revive it on the social media scene?
Either way, Vine’s decline serves as a warning to the all the creative industries, such as public relations, that use such applications. Social media can be easy come, easy go, you must always try to be one step ahead or find yourself in the history books.
The Guardian has some great articles celebrating the best of Vine and sum it up far better than I ever could…