I’m absolutely addicted to Vine.
The six second microvideo platform debuted to great fanfare in 2012 and as quickly adopted by all kinds of different artists: stop motion enthusiasts, comedians, and singers quickly found purpose and fame. Less than three years old, Vine is a major site for brands and sponsorships having snapped up the coveted 14-20 year old youth demographic. Still, with around 40 million registered users (compared to Instagram’s 300 million), Vine is still searching for its identity.
With the recent news that Twitter may be facing a hostile takeover and the departure of five major executives (including Jason Toff, the head of Vine), it is clear that change is coming to Twitter and that the future of Vine may hang in the balance.
While Vine may end up being the social media version of the Motorola Two-Way Pager, I think it’s important to document this particular moment in history – a moment where Vine’s various identities (like Twitter, before it) gave rise to separate, powerful subcultures with their own norms on the same platform.
But to term this phenomenon “black Vine” would be a gross oversimplification of the social dynamics at play.