The Triumphant Rise And Epic Collapse Of Vine

Today, while you’re posting the seventeen-thousandth Snapchat clip of yourself with the “puppy face” filter, or using Instagram to share that two-second loop of your grandma hula-hooping, the once-great micro-video platform Vine dies. Sure, it’s being reborn as some new app, but lightning rarely strikes twice on the internet, and the era of the “Vine star” or the six-second “viral Vine” is surely gone. In honor of Vine’s demise, we look back at the service’s meteoric rise — and its quiet fall from favor.

June 2012: Vine is founded by Dom Hofmann, Rus Yusupov, and Colin Kroll in Florida.

“It was surprising,” Hofmann told The Verge of the way people were encouraged to put the app to strange uses almost immediately. “Our original beta had something like 10 or 15 people on it, and even with that small group we started to see experimentation pretty early on.”

October 2012: Amid rumors that Twitter wanted to launch its own video service, the social media company bought Vine, AllThingsD reported on Oct. 9, 2012, for a reported $30 million.

Jan. 24, 2013: Twitter launches Vine as a free app for iOS devices.

“Like Tweets, the brevity of videos on Vine (6 seconds or less) inspires creativity,” explained Twitter’s VP of products at the time, Michael Sippey, in a blog post. “Now that you can easily capture motion and sound, we look forward to seeing what you create.”

Jan. 28, 2013: Only a few days into its life, Vine contracts a bit of a pornography problem, as Consumerist reported then.

March 2013: A few short months later, Vine bans porn and most nudity on the platform in an attempt to address the aforementioned porn issue.

April 9, 2013: Vine becomes the most-downloaded app on iOS, according to co-founder Yusupov, who celebrated the milestone on Twitter.

June 2, 2013: Vine becomes available on Android. Later that month, Wired noted that the Boston Marathon was a defining moment for Vine, after a Vine video of the explosion went viral. Founder Hofmann also explained that the brevity of each clip made them easier to share on social media.

“It began with unlimited time,” he said of the first version of the app. “But when we saw our friends trying to share their videos over text message, we realized that it needed a social component—and that meant we needed to make it quick to share and view.”

May 1, 2014: Vine launches a website version of the video service, allowing anyone with access to the internet to view clips.

July 2014: Vine introduces “loop counts,” which means everyone knows how many times a clip has been looped. And how popular you are.

August 2015: Vine Music debuts, allowing users to create infinite loops of music. That same month, the company announced that it serves more than 100 million people every month, delivering more than 1.5 billion loops per day, Quartz reported at the time.

Oct. 27, 2016: The end arrived suddenly, with Vine announcing that Twitter would be discontinuing the mobile app.

November 2016: Rumors that Twitter might sell Vine for cheap instead of closing it down abound.

Dec. 16, 2016: Vine announces that the app will be replaced by the Vine Camera app, which will connect to Twitter instead of having its own social network as of Jan. 17, 2017.

Jan. 17, 2017: This brings us to today, when the mobile app official becomes the Vine camera. All old videos will be archived and browsable on the Vine website, however, so you’ll never have to go without.

While there was no guaranteed formula for a hit Vine, perhaps one big reason people seemed to gravitate toward it was its everyman appeal — you didn’t have to be a famous reality star to craft an ingenious, brilliant, dog-filled Vine. You could just be a guy with an adorable dog, like Harrison Nussbaum, creator of this piece of internet magic starring his dog, Marley:

We checked in with Nussbaum to see how he was feeling about the Vine changeover, and what it meant to have one of the most popular dogs on the internet.

“It’s sad to say that fame went right to Marley’s head,” Nussbaum told Consumerist in an email. “She began listening less while expecting more treats.”

He says his friends and family started sending him copies of his Vine whenever they found it posted elsewhere on social media, and everyone pampered Marley to extremes as a result of her newfound popularity.

“The reactions were hilarious,” he said of Marley’s sudden stardom.

As for why Vine was such a hit, Nussbaum says he thinks it was pretty simple — there was nothing else quite like it at the time, and it was easy to use.

“I think the ability for the short videos to play themselves over made Vine what it was; users could open the app, see a video, and close the app all in 10 seconds,” he says.

When he heard Vine was shutting down its mobile app, Nussbaum says he was “shocked,” saying Vine’s introduction “still feels like yesterday.” He adds that he’s optimistic for the future, however.

“I’m hoping the new Vine Camera will continue what Vine first started, just in a new way.”

We had one last question for Nussbaum: did he have any idea if Phil Collins himself had seen his Vine?

“Sadly, to my knowledge, he has not seen it,” Nussbaum admitted.

**We chose the following popular Vines at random to include in the above photo accompanying this story, including Nussbaum’s above, as well as Vines by: Alienbatpigs; calebnatale; jessewelle; KingBach; Hood Vine; and chloe lmao.**

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