James Sadler

RIP Vine – saying goodbye to a social media phenomenon

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“You wanna treat?”

“yaaasss”

In 2014, those now infamous words spread across the world. With an estimated 89 million views (and counting) ‘yaaasss cat’ epitomises the hilarious and inventive nature of Vine. The mere six seconds of genius revolutionised how young people communicate. The original video, created by Blake Welch, became an overnight sensation, much like many other Vine trends such as ‘why you always lying?’ and ‘just do it’.

Beyond ‘yass cat’, Vine has been a frontrunner for a new form of creative social media. Allowing users to connect, copy and share funny and interesting content, it’s hard to believe that in a matter of weeks the social media platform, that has an estimated 200 million users, will cease to exist.

Vine’s parent company Twitter announced last week that they were closing down the video-sharing app for good.

“Since 2013, millions of people have turned to Vine to laugh at loops and see creativity unfold.” Twitter shared. “Today, we are sharing the news that in the coming months we’ll be discontinuing the mobile app.”

Neither Vine nor Twitter has cited a reason for the closure. However, after a large cull of staff in recent months many have speculated that the closure of Vine is as a result of downsizing for the social media giant.

Millions of people tweeted  sharing their favourite videos from the app, using the hashtag #RIPVINE.

North East based Viner Jasmin Collier (@lilGucciJasmin) expressed her sadness:

“Taking down Vine is a huge mistake, without Vine we have less choice for developing creative social media outlets. Instead, we are stuck with Facebook and Twitter, where nothing is new or interesting anymore.”

Collier, who has amassed over 25 million video views, worries that young people are less likely to peruse creative careers if apps like Vine are taken down.

“Vine offered me a chance to develop my basic editing skills and made me realise this is what I want to do for a living.”

She said: “I have been very lucky that my videos have became popular but even if they hadn’t Vine inspired me to learn more about media production. I’m hoping that this will, eventually, lead into a career.”

This then begs the question that if the creative aspects of social media are removed, will we see a reduction in output for all forms of creative media?

Young Vine stars such as Scotty Sire and Toddy Smith have gone on to study media production at university. Similarly, popular duo Ethan and Grayson Dolan have been made so popular by the app they’re now embarking on a stadium world tour where they perform their signature stunts in front of thousands of fans. It is unlikely that, had Vine not existed, these young people would be pursuing creative media as a career.

As Collier stated, Vine offered a way for users to develop their basic video editing skills. It involved the taking of an idea and condensing it into a six second clip, a skill that in the world of journalism could open a plethora of possible innovative outcomes. However, without Vine it is possible that this new and exciting idea may amount to nothing.

Vine will be greatly missed. Since its establishment in 2013 users have been creating new, innovative but mostly hilarious short videos that have revolutionised popular culture. However, more importantly, Vine has significantly influenced a rise in interest for creative media production as an academic study. The app’s closure will no in doubt reduce the creative output for younger people. This being said, Twitter have said:

“You’ll be able to access and download your Vines. We’ll be keeping the website online because we think it’s important to still be able to watch all the incredible Vines that have been made.”

Hopefully this will be enough to preserve Vine’s most iconic videos, such as ‘yaaass cat’, and ensure their impact on youth culture will never be forgotten.

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