When Vine was acquired by Twitter in October 2012, the six-second video platform was one of the fastest growing social sharing apps on the planet. In June 2013, Wired noted that Vine grew from 77,000 unique visitors to 3.6 million unique desktop visitors in just five months. Today, Vine has over 200 million active monthly users, according to Venture Beat, and the platform’s engaged audiences watch more than 1.5 billion “loops” (Vine’s term for video plays) per day. While these metrics are impressive, Vine’s lack of a native advertising platform coupled with competition from Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram (all of whom now allow users and brands to publish videos longer than six seconds) have prompted some to ask: are we seeing the beginning of the end for Vine?
As YouTube, the world’s biggest video sharing site, continues to attract billions of viewers and pervasive social media platforms like Facebook (1.5 billion users) and Instagram (400 million users) have expanded to provide brands with native advertising services, Vine is finding it difficult to compete with platforms that offer longer videos and more comprehensive targeting and engagement metrics.
A recent Tubular Labs study found that, of 40 major brands investing in social media marketing on the four major social platforms (Vine, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube) between September 2015 and November 2015, only 4% of all branded content was published on Vine, and only 13 of the 40 brands created content for Vine at all (Adweek). Comparatively, YouTube was the most popular social media platform among brands (64% of content was published on YouTube), followed by Facebook (24%) and Instagram (8%).
Learn the difference between native advertising, sponsored content, and influencer marketing here.
While the lack of a native advertising platform and the brevity of Vine’s loops have discouraged some marketers from investing in the Twitter-owned video app, Vine’s most famous content creators (aptly called “Viners” or “Vine Stars”) continue to attract millions of engaged users with artistic, creative, and/or hilarious videos. According to data collected from ReelSEO, the 10 top Viners accounted for 1.62 billion loops in February 2016, highlighting Vine’s shift away from a platform where ordinary users share videos to one where followers largely consume content created by today’s most famous social media stars.
“When Vine started it was a social network […] it was a place where you were expected to post Vines of what you were up to with friends and family,” Vine’s General Manager Jason Toff told Re/Code’s Kurt Wagner in a recent interview. “But what we’ve found—and this started happening a few months within Vine starting but we’ve really only started to embrace it this year—is that the way people are most successfully using Vine is as an entertainment network.”
Vine’s slowing growth and lack of regard, especially from marketers, can thus be viewed as a product of the platform’s evolution. Vine is not dying; rather, users are creating less and consuming more, while the platform’s most popular Viners are becoming social media superstars that each command the attention of millions.
For brands looking to market across social media channels, partnering with top Viners to develop sponsored videos remains the most effective way to reach new audiences and expand brand awareness. Many top Viners are not only popular on Vine, but also maintain large, dedicated social followings across other platforms including Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Snapchat. Today’s most successful brands have collaborated with Viners like Arielle Vandenberg and Logan Paul to create content that the social media stars’ audiences will find appealing and rely on other social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to promote their Vine campaigns.
To see examples of how the world’s best brands partner with today’s top Viners, click here.
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