The Good, The Bad, The Vine


By Anthony Rossi

At its core, Vine is a very simple social media app: anyone with a smartphone can shoot, edit, post, and comment on six-second mini-videos. When it first launched in 2013, Vine instantly gained popularity as more and more people joined to follow and interact with their friends. Soon, people began to take notice of the app’s “popular” page, where the videos with the most likes, views, and comments would be showcased for all to see. It is estimated that now over 40 million people are using this app, but reception is mixed.

So is Vine a networking Utopia or Dystopia?


On one hand, Vine is brilliant. The app allows you film pretty much anything and post it in a feed for your friends to see. It is very simple to use, making it easy for everyone to enjoy. Some users incorporate costumes and props, even sets, into their videos. Some simply film themselves talking. Vine gives many people a creative platform to express themselves. Vine distinguishes itself from Youtube because videos can only be six seconds and are automatically looped, challenging users to experiment with quick storytelling. People create visual art, short form comedy, musical loops, and many other things. The options are almost endless!

Unfortunately, there are also a lot of problems with Vine. First of all, the format is extremely restrictive. There is not a good way to edit your videos, and six seconds is almost no time to tell an entire story. The popular page also created a problem, because content became less about creativity and more about getting the most attention. Often, Vine users will recycle jokes or completely steal ideas from whomever they can in attempt to gain followers. “Vine Celebrities” are also paid to promote products, replacing creative content with commercials.

This blend of positive and negative features has consumers divided and, overall, the app seems to be declining in popularity. I believe, as is the case with most projects, Vine was launched with a Utopian vision, but it became corrupt in practice.


What is your opinion of Vine?

Do find the six second time limit restrictive or are you in favor of it?



  1. I honestly love Vine! So hilarious yet helps to convey a message on the quick! Not a completely full length thing, rather much shorter and simple.
    For what Vine is, I think the 6 second limit works perfect because one has to work with that to provide a message in the most efficient manner! It may be restrictive but it does help to get things a bit more creative for such a minimal amount of time.
    I do agree with the comment on top though, it does not allow for a meaningful discussion and if that were to be a possibility I think it would be great for Vine users!

  2. I like how you mentioned “Vin Celebrities.” This is something I have noticed developing in the past few years. It’s crazy when you think about it, because once they were just normal people like you and me, only they were hanging out behind the lens of their iPhone, laptop, Nikon, etc., which if you think about it is really not normal. However, people praise these people in weird freaky ways. They have “followers.” To me, follower evokes the idea of a cult. Is the internet community turning into a cult? Because these people have gained notoriety, major organizations use them to sneak messages into the minds of viewers. Speaking from experience, I have definitely made decisions based off of suggestions from internet celebrities celebrities.

    To be honest, I have never been on vine, but after reading this post I’m definitely going to check it out. (and yet again, swayed by the power of online suggestion)

  3. I never used Vine, but like our Twitter posts, I think it’s more of an acquired taste. I personally don’t see any benefits from it but like you said, it’s another channel for people to express themselves which is great! As far as people stealing ideas to gain followers…I don’t think that’s anything new. Regardless of the platform, there have always been people who cheat and lie in order to succeed.

  4. Vine is just awesome. It helped me with my screenwriting cause it forces you “set the scene” in 6 seconds. Stories, no matter how short, can have meaning. Vine also taught me that stories, ALL OF THEM, start with something simple. I struggled to make complex stories because I started them complex. But all that complexity; I would just have to wait. Vine teaches you to get to the point. It’s not necessarily bad, or restrictive. It’s just your perspective. I took something positive from Vine that helped me try to be a better filmmaker.

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