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At its peak, Vine was one of the top 5 most downloaded entertainment apps in the iOS app store and consistently ranked in the top 50 of all apps (Wall Street Journal). Now, in the face of growing competition from Snapchat’s 10-second video format and Snapchat Stories (as well as Instagram’s 60-second videos and Facebook’s recent push to become a leader in digital video), Vine is struggling to keep both top content creators (called “Viners“) and audiences from abandoning the once-favored 6-second video entertainment platforms for greener social media pastures.
When Vine was launched in 2013, it was conceivably created as a way for users to share short videos of their lives with friends and followers. Since then, the app has evolved into an entertainment platform, with Vine’s top content creators curating each Vine “loop” (the name for a Vine video) and attracting followers who frequent the app only to see their favorite stars’ clips.
The majority of Vine audiences, therefore, don’t contribute their own content—a stark contrast to Snapchat, where well over half (60%) of Snapchat users create and publish their own photos and videos (called “Snaps“) on a daily basis (Bloomberg).
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While many Vine users are hesitant to post the more mundane aspects of their lives—especially when the platform’s Vine stars are creating some truly innovative, poignant, and hilarious content—Snapchat discovered a way to encourage Snapchatters to share without fear of content lingering on the platform ad infinitum: make users’ photos and videos vanish.
Snapchat has thus become what Vine could have been—a way for celebrities, social media stars, and ordinary users to document every aspect of their lives, from captivating events to commonplace routines.
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Vine’s 6-second video restrictions, too, may be one of the reasons why audiences are leaving the app for other social media platforms. Though Snapchat’s 10-second video restriction is not markedly different, the introduction of Snapchat Stories (which stitch users’ 10 second Snaps together into a continuous narrative) has allowed Snapchat users to create longer pieces of content without worrying about how to squeeze a coherent story into a 6-second clip.
This flexibility has allowed Snapchat to flourish, while only those who have the patience and creativity to produce compelling short videos continue publishing content on Vine.
Snapchat took the ideas that made Vine popular—”bite-sized” content that audiences could consume on mobile devices, the ability to authentically share aspects of daily life, etc.—and improved upon them.
Today, Snapchat constantly innovates by offering both users and brands new features and functions; Vine, on the other hand, has failed to offer audiences any new reasons to stay or companies an incentive to invest in brand-sponsored content.
According to an Adweek article by Lauren Johnson, Tubular Labs found that, of 40 major brands advertising on social media platforms, between September 2015 and November 2015, only 4% of branded content appeared on Vine.
[Tweet “Between September and November 2015, only 4% of branded content was on Vine.”]
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