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?