Both had similar concepts. Short but sweet video clips all combined into one app. Anyone could share, anyone could create and anyone could watch. So why did 2 very similar platforms have 2 very different outcomes? Why did one rise to the top so quickly, while the other flopped and was later shut down all together?
Vine started out in 2012 and proved to be quite popular. Many people will tell you they miss the app. However, was it really that popular if it got wiped out? It seems there was the market for it, but they didn’t keep on top of the times. If you’ve got a product that works, that’s great, but you have to keep it updated otherwise people will get bored and move on.
The concept of Vine was 6-second videos. They’d typically be funny, light-hearted videos that people would share. Usually people would relate them back to their life in some way. So basically being relatable has always been a way to go viral. It seems that Vine was particularly popular with teenagers. We were just coming into a time when social media was on the rise when you think about it. Yes, we had social media pre-2012, but it wasn’t anything like we have today. Vine was there during a turning point for social platforms which is why it’s so sad it didn’t have the same success.
On the decline
Fast-forward to 2015 and Twitter bought Vine. When have Twitter ever been known to pass up a good opportunity when they see one, right? It was no secret that there was a market for sharing funny video clips. Of course this can be done on any social platform now, but there’s always been a cry for an app dedicated to just that. Once Twitter bought Vine, they increased the video length time (moving towards the right path). They also included information like the number of views each Vine had at the top of the video. All the things the likes of TikTok have today.
Believe it or not though, TikTok are not responsible for the downfall of Vine. It simply lost popularity after a while. It’s almost like people don’t know when they have a good thing, right? Well, the public aren’t completely to blame. If it’s no longer serving the same purpose it once did then why would you continue showing an interest in it? Simply, it seems it got a bit stale.
Other platforms came about. Snapchat arrived on the scene and almost gave Vine another nudge. The popularity of Snapchat is a story for another day, but when it first came about it was revolutionary. People could send pictures to their friends directly that wouldn’t be visible forever? Stand aside Vine. Apparently it just slowly came to a halt. While there were and undoubtably still are some serious die hard fans. The majority of the Vine fandom lost interest and moved to other apps. It finally came to an end in 2017 when it was completely shut down. Ask around though, and it won’t be hard to find someone who can quote an entire viral video from Vine.
This was our personal favourite
This is a fun one. The story starts with Music.ly which if you don’t remember, go look it up. It was a very unique experience. It’s not necessarily something the internet needs in 2021, but it provided entertainment for a period of time at least. So if you’re not sure of what this was, let’s explain. Music.ly was an app for lip-syncing. People would create videos of themselves mouthing the words to different tracks and then place the music over it. This can still be done with apps like TikTok if you really wanted, but a whole app, just for that? Not so sure.
Anyway, eventually the founders of Music.ly known as ByteDance, adapted their horizons and TikTok was born. As of 2018 it was launched across the app store and since then it hasn’t stopped. They’re now at 1 billion users. Think about that for a minute, 7 billion people in the world and 1 billion of them are using TikTok. It’s completely crazy but good for them. They’ve found out what people want and they’ve designed an app that does exactly that.
So, why did TikTok do so well? It seems they’ve continued to adapt. Maybe they really listen. A lot of apps don’t always tend to act on user feedback, but it looks like TikTok have. Either this or they’re just one step ahead of the users at all times. Whichever it is, it’s a win/win. The company are thriving, and the users are loving it.
With TikTok, they started out with a more restrictive timescale for videos. Over time, it’s been adapted and extended. They’re forever adding new features in which benefits content creators. For example, they’ve been trialling TikTok stories which have proved nothing but positive for Instagram. Adding a feature that makes stories visible for just 24 hours opens a whole door of possibilities for creatives. Allowing more freedom within the app is only going to benefit everyone, and it seems TikTok’s creators are aware of this. Perhaps they have watched the fall of apps like Vine and are determined not to let this happen to them. After all, the statistics speak for themselves. The people need TikTok.
Could it be argued that TikTok have done extra well because of the pandemic? Perhaps this is true. It’s no secret that there were many lockdowns and isolation periods, so people did need some form of humour in their lives. This could be why it took off. However, it isn’t fair to take credit away from them, they were thriving before all this.
Here’s some of the most popular TikToks ever
They do say something good falls apart, so something even better can fall into place, don’t they? Maybe this was the case here. Its sad Vine had to come to an end and many people will have mourned the loss of the video sharing app. However, TikTok have come along to fill the hole in everyone’s lives. Yes this sounds deep but it is, ok? What’s your opinion? Team Vine or Team TikTok? Do you even have a preference? Don’t pretend you hated both because everyone knows that isn’t possible…