Vine Shut Down: 9 Lessons We Learn

Twitter is shutting down video-sharing service Vine, at October 27, 2016 the company announced. Vine, which lets you share short video clips, debuted in 2013. Twitter acquired Vine in 2012 before the service had even launched.

The news comes the same day Twitter announced it would lay off more than 300 workers, or 9% of the company's global workforce, within the company's sales, partnerships, and marketing teams.

"Nothing is happening to the apps, website or your Vines today," Twitter said in a release, adding that users will be given a heads-up and be able to download their Vines before the app shutters for good.

"Don’t sell your company!" Vine co-founder RusYusupov, who was laid off from Twitter in October 2015, wrote in a tweet.

Acquired by Twitter in 2012, Vine started off strong, becoming the No. 1 app on the iTunes App Store only six months after joining the company. At one point, Vine had more than 200 million active users, yet it struggled to maintain traction and saw a decline in popularity in recent months.

Competition from Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube made it difficult to stand out from the pack. According to data from App Annie, Vine has since dropped to No. 284 in the top charts for free applications on iOS, down from the low 100s at the beginning of the year. It’s still fairly well-ranked (No. 24) in the Photo & Video category, but hasn’t placed on the Entertainment apps top charts since 2015.

So what lessons we can learn from Vine’s short lifespan?

1. Don’t Invested Too In One Medium

How many times have you heard that Facebook is essential to your business success? Or a blog? Instagram? Did you hear the latest advice that you should must be on Snapchat?

There are as many opinions as people; and everyone thinks that their way is the only right way, especially if they’re successful. However, at the end of the day, you have to remember that a web platform or app is just that: a channel for deliver your message. Trends will come and go, and so will the apps we love and use.

Yes, some platforms have proven their longevity, yet there is no guarantee that all of them will exist in the form we know them today. To put it in a perspective, just a decade ago, when Myspace was at its prime, people would call you crazy if you suggested that it wouldn’t be around for much longer. So would do the people who have millions of followers on Vine.

So, you have to figure out what is your message and simply find a way to share it in a variety of formats. That way, you’re not putting all of you eggs in one basket.

2. Smaller Communities Can Be Passionate

Vine had brought together a strong community. While it may not have been relatively huge, it was meaningful. Users who stuck around for the whole time feel strongly about Vine.

I am not saying you should be present on every web & social network out there, but smaller communities, or niches, can be very powerful medium for deliver your message. A thousand passionate customers may prove to be much more important, than 10,000 distracted followers who do not have an emotional connection with what you offering.

3. Stay Updated

Don’t jump on every single platform & App out there. However, pay attention to where your real & potential customers are.

Let’s say your product caters to young adults. Well, you have to follow them around where they reside online. Because Facebook was great for reaching millennials five years ago, that doesn’t mean you should cling to it and ignore Google+, Pinterest, Instagram or Snapchat.

Moreover, analyze the appeal of these different web mediums and see if you can uncover bigger trends and needs. For example, Google Allo is Smart. Snapchat offers privacy. Facebook Live offers broadcasting opportunities. However, all of them offer an instantaneous feeling, being there in a moment. This is what people care about these days.

4. Get Artistic

One of the possible reasons for Vine Shut Down is the fact that marketers didn’t find a good way to leverage the platform. Yes, I know bad, bad marketers; they want to leverage everything. However, social networks depend on funding and leveraging.

This fact presented a huge untapped opportunity for business owners. Since most of advertisers had their reasons not to be bothered with Vine, business owners who wanted to be heard could easily monetize Vine to deliver their message in a very artistic way.

Yes, six seconds seems like an extremely short amount of time to “peg” your potential customers, but, hey, look at all those Viners who showed an enormous creativity with the time limitation. Who is to say that a smart marketer could not become an overnight success with a single Vine going viral? Besides, a skillful series of Vines would not go unnoticed.

5. Talk To People In Their Language

Another issue that contributed to Vine’s Shut Down was that the platform had a lot of insider talk going on. “The app generated countless memes, and grew increasingly self-referential over time, so that a single six-second clip might reference a dozen previous hit Vines,” The Verge suggests.

While it may be a side effect of creating a strong community, you have to remember to never be self-contained. If you want your message to be effective, you have to make it as easy as possible to understand it.

If your language gets too technical, too pretentious, or too “exclusive,” you are running a risk of not being understood. And that doesn’t serve anyone, starting with you and your business.

6. Offer Something Unique

The problem with Vine is that it lost its appeal too fast. Yes, it was cool app for the first year or so, but then the ballyhoo died down and Vine didn’t offer any new exciting features that would differentiate it in the market. Short videos? Snapchat and Instagram work for those. Looping feature? Boomerang by Instagram has you covered. At the end, there was no real differentiation and no real use for looping six-seconds videos.

7. Promote, Boost, Forward

Twitter’s fault was that it didn’t really promote Vine in any way. After a sense of newness withered down, there were no major attempts in push Forward Vine. Clearly, Twitter has a lot going on right now in their main platform, so they put Vine on the cruise-control mode.

However, to truly see if your product has any potential, you have to Boost it relentlessly. You have to continually Forward it, highlighting benefits. Your product will never reach its fullest potential without your efforts.

8. Change With Your Audience

Learn to monitor your industry and be ready to adapt your strategies to be at the forefront, instead of playing catch-up all the time.

Great marketers are always trying to figure out what the next big thing is, and what will be the be-all-end-all of marketing strategies. The problem is, when we find them, we often think that this is it and become complacent.

We as marketers need to be agile in our approach to marketing trends. We need to realize that what’s effective one day may be completely ineffective the next, and that’s okay.
Don’t get trapped thinking you’ve figured it all out because you’ve had some success, and forget that success comes through a steady stream of testing, learning, and implementing.

9. You Have To Fail Faster And Better Than Others

When you’re an developer, entrepreneur, startup, or do anything that has to do with the every evolving nature of social media, you have to try new ideas out often. Sometimes they work and you roll with it and sometimes they don’t. When they don’t is when you have the greatest opportunity to learn: see what didn’t work, make note of what did, piece this together quickly and keep moving.

Vine failed to do this when other social media outlets started offering similar services as them. Don’t let this be you. Remember that the more you “fail”, the more you learn thus becoming better.

While it’s always sad to see a business fall, the fall always offers great lessons that can help us to learn.