The History of Social Media: Vine

The company I chose to talk about was the once extremely popular application known as Vine. Vine gave people a chance to entertain millions in only six seconds. Sounds impossible, right? However, the company reportedly had 200 million active users as of October of 2015 (Romano, 2016). The platform was launched in 2012 and developed many trends and stars. Viral dance crazes on the platform caused many artists to benefit from the many streams like rapper, Drake. The app also created a new generation of comedians like King Bach whose impeccable comedic timing could be of use in a sitcom or blockbuster film (Spanos, 2018).

King Bach- Photo Courtesy of Fandom

I chose this company because its impact it had on my childhood and it being the most visible space for young, black creatives. The year that the application was released, I was the tender of 12 years old whose one of many preteens that loved social media. I can remember scrolling all day on my phone looking at funny videos and being inspired by the people of color I saw on my screen. Whether it being the viral dance videos or the invention of terms like “on fleek”, black teenagers had a place to show their creative side without judgment. Seeing this, inspired me as a young, black girl that anything is possible and to never be afraid to be myself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hch2Bup3oII

Vine also paved the way for other social media platforms to thrive like Snapchat, Musical.ly, and YouTube. Once the app died down, many of the stars transition their way to other platforms that provided them with a longer to entertain their audiences. Snapchat is one of the platforms that the stars could use to give users a closer look inside of their lives with pictures and sets of short videos. When it came to musical side of things, the app Musical.ly provided users with a way to make short music videos lip-syncing and dancing to your favorite songs. Last but not least, YouTube truly changed the game when it became a successful video distribution site. This platform allowed you to create content that content as long as can be.

As you can see, Vine was very significant to digital history due to opening doors for many young entertainers to express their creativity and keeping the young audience entertained. I believe the founders wanted to create a challenge for users and see how well they would do. Giving someone only six seconds to make someone laugh, hit the like button, or share with others may have looked impossible to some, but to others like a piece of cake. Thinking of the perfect joke, edit, or prank was crucial in making a vine that could go viral. I also believe the six seconds was just the right amount of time that could keep adolescents’ attention. This is one of the first applications to make such a challenge and made it stand out from all the other platforms that were out there. Even though the beloved application has shut down, its impact is shown in various platforms that are popular today.

References:

Romano, A. (2016, October 28). You may not have understood Vine, but its demise is a huge cultural loss. Vox. https://www.vox.com/2016/10/28/13439450/vine-shutdown-loss-to-black-culture.

Spanos, B. (2018, June 25). 8 Reasons Why Vine Mattered. https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/8-reasons-why-vine-mattered-129757/.