Do It for the Vine: Will Vine 2 Live Up to the Hype?

Dom Hoffman, a co-founder of Vine, hints at a new version of the app, Vine 2, and people are torn between believing the hype and doubting the revival.

Vine’s original format included six-second videos with hilarious performances that captivated viewers, featuring the classic Peanut Butter Baby, Gavin, the death of Ms. Kesha, Jimmy Murrill’s offensive remarks and the “Who is she?” girl, just to name a few. The app was the first with a short video format that allowed users to post uncensored content, in turn, creating some of the most beloved memes.

The original pitch of the app described a platform for posting video snippets of everyday moments to share with friends; it was meant to be a companion to Twitter’s short-form tweets. The founders noticed fairly soon that the app would become a tool for experimentation and creativity among users.

The loop feature made videos play repeatedly, which caused humorous moments to be watched over and over, with users thinking of many ways to manipulate and advance their comedic ventures within the short video frame. The saying, “Do it for the Vine,” became used when forcing friends into embarrassing themselves for the sake of a short clip on the app, but this phrase soon became obsolete when Vine was shut down by Twitter in October 2016 due to budget cuts.

Dom Hofmann, one of three co-founders of the original Vine, tweeted on December 6, 2017 an image of a graphic similar to the previous Vine logo with “V2” signifying a possible Vine 2. After posting this hint of the app making a comeback, fans and Internet celebrities, who found fame through Vine, have been eagerly waiting its return.

Vine was bought by Twitter for $30 million in 2012, officially launched in January 2013 for iPhone and was the most downloaded free app in the iOS app store by April. Vine has now been reduced to a memory, with videos documented in YouTube compilations where viewers can relive the enjoyable experience the app created from Top 100 playlists to ones focused on specific viners. V2 will be taking a new direction with Hofmann funding the app on his own as an “outside project,” which has already sparked interest online, yet so much has not been uncovered about the new version of Vine.

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Internet celebrities from the app are meeting V2 with varying reactions from hopefulness to weariness. Top users of the previous app could earn $20,000 to $50,000 per ad campaign reaching their 500,000 to 10 million followers through brands paying for shoutouts, revines and customized videos created for corporate accounts. The most followed female star on Vine until November 2015, Brittany Furlan, expressed concern for the new version tweeting, “Vine 2… not many sequels are better than the original but we’ll seeeeeee.”

On the other hand, Ben Cahn says, “There have been ideas I’ve wanted to do that would only work on Vine, and I’m excited to have a fresh start and not have to worry about engagement or numbers.” The announcement of V2 produced hate towards previous viners, some of these include Lele Pons, any member of MagCon, Curtis Lepore and Logan and Jake Paul, who have been urged to not return by multiple tweets and articles.

Old fans of the app clearly want the new version to expand in a positive direction by removing any unwanted members from their feed as early as possible; however, members who gained immense popularity from Vine will most likely return since it provided them with a suitable outlet uncomparable to YouTube or Instagram. Internet stars continued to find success after Vine, but it was limited for some, as Vine became a true outlet for a certain culture unknown to other social media apps.

Vine’s user-generated content allowed expression to be widely accepted with different comedic styles appreciated in one setting. There were many influencers such as KingBach and Amanda Cerny who launched videos with millennial humor.

Music was another art form shared on the app, with short clips from potential new artists. The popular singer, Shawn Mendes, rose to fame through Vine and it is likely he could return on V2 to pay gratitude to the inception of his career.

Ruth B, another Internet star who posted brief song covers, signed a record deal after her recognition on Vine. The app gave people an opportunity to share their commentaries on society and make fun of them fully in a fast-paced environment with an ever-changing audience. Despite its wide use and the many spectacles made from the app, the success of Vine was short-lived.

A problem with the original vine that can hopefully be avoided in the new form is how they provide for their most viewed Internet stars. Previously, some viners received payments and sponsorships in large sums, while others with similar popularity received significantly lower or no money for their content.

Additionally, Vine did not have an advertising system for users to promote their own videos, which frustrated many viners trying to expand their audience. V2 will need to incorporate these options fairly to provide a more pleasant experience for all members involved. Therefore, the popularity and success of the app will rest on any updates made by Hofmann to offer a better experience, one that can last, rather than fizzle out like its predecessor.

The big question remains: “Will V2 uphold its popularity with other social media apps and their new additions?” In comparison, Facebook and Instagram now have the option of stories, where short videos or pictures can be posted to share with followers while Snapchat has created a widely popular video-sharing service. V2 will have to stand out among other options to maintain high traffic and active members.

The app is welcomed with skepticism, but overall urged on by fans on Twitter with multiple memes of shock and awe. One tweet saying, “I feel like we can all finally come back to life if vine does. PLEASE make it happen” and others hoping they’ll rise to fame, “Finally, I’ll have a second chance of becoming a vine star!!!” Hofmann says he will release updates on V2 as he continues developing it, so eventually, the app will have more information about its changes from the original and what potential users can expect from the new version.

Lauren Lambert, Southeastern Louisiana University

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Lauren Lambert

Southeastern Louisiana University

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