This week, the social world was rocked by Twitter’s announcement that it will be shutting down the Vine app. Stunning, because it still has 200MM monthly users. And sad, because it substantially re-framed the way we think about short form content creation.
That said, the transition will be slow. First, vine.co will continue to live on as a six second video library. Second, and maybe most importantly, the way Vine worded their announcement leaves much open to interpretation: “…we’ll be discontinuing the mobile app.” No mention of Twitter’s intentions for its Vine employees and Vine, the company. So does Twitter have something up its sleeve? Maybe.
We know Twitter has been refocusing on live video and entertainment, re-framing the way users view the platform and the way brands think about it as part of their media mix. Partnerships with the NFL, livestreams of the 2016 Presidential Debates, even new broadcasts with Bloomberg and Cheddar point toward a much larger shift for the platform that could indicate Twitter’s intention to incorporate Vine’s core functionality into its own. Thereby allowing the same creation to take place, just in a different place. Only time will tell.
In the meantime, what should your brand do in reaction to the announcement?
1. SAVE EVERYTHING. Twitter won’t make any fast and furious moves because they know creators and brands alike have invested quite a bit of energy into their existing content. But, if you haven’t already, save everything. Just in case. Save your profile information, save the videos themselves and save the captions you wrote as well. It’s video that can probably be used again, maybe even on another platform.
2. NEVER FORGET WHAT MADE VINE GREAT. Vine changed the way we think about “snackable” content, debunking the myth that :30 and :60 seconds were a requirement to entertain and inform. So, remember that all you need is six seconds (and maybe even less) to capture someone’s attention and engage. Apply this thinking to some of the videos you create moving forward, because the principle is true across most social networks.
3. LOOP DAT LOOP. Aside from the shift from what’s now considered “long-form” video, Vine also taught us to loop. Some things are so exciting that we just need to see it again and again, to either admire its genius or figure out what its genius is. Either way, the barrier to inspire users to hit the replay button themselves is much too strong to overcome, so consider making videos that loop for other channels. And then riff on that looping technology to help form interesting creative.
4. BE STRATEGIC. This may seem obvious, but think before you repost your Vines elsewhere. Be strategic about where and when you post your old Vine videos. You might naturally want to post everything on Instagram this minute, but that could be off. Maybe your Vine would be better served as a Snap ad or a Twitter GIF. Yes, you probably should consider posting your hotdog Vine on Twitter during the MLB World Series. But you may want to wait to post that vine you created about skiing until later this year or early next. Context is everything, so try as hard as you can to keep your anxiety at bay and plot out what content you’d like to reuse and how to reuse it in a meaningful way for your audience.
5. CONTINUE TO INNOVATE. One of the things that was so special about Vine was the crowdswell of support it received early on and the brilliant ways these creators approached the medium. From comedy, to stop motion, magic, artistry, and memes, Vine inspired the inspiring. Even though the mobile app may be going away, its mantra to innovate must remain, and it’s up to us to ensure it does.
Only time will tell what Twitter’s next move will be, but let’s have a six second moment of silence to honor the creativity of the app that made short-form video even more snackable.
Allie Wassum, Social Strategist
To read more about Vine and its epic storytellers, check out Jill Sherman’s take here.