Why forced comedy means it’s the end of the Vine | The Friday Article

Given how information is being consumed as quickly as possible, a six-second video sharing app known as Vine sounded like a fitting addition to the social media industry when it was introduced in 2013. Yet, with such a strict time constraint, creators were desperate to produce content which could be the next viral hint (‘do it for the Vine’ became a phrase which mocked and tapped into this notion). The app then became overpopulated with pranks, wacky dancing videos and slapstick comedy. Vine had its moments – with personalities appearing over its three-year lifespan – but everyone knows comedy cannot be forced. Therefore, it’s no surprise that yesterday, Twitter took the decision to discontinue Vine.

The announcement that Vine was to be discontinued was announced yesterday.

In a blog post in January 2013 by Vine’s co-founder, Dom Hofmann, he shared his belief that “constraint inspires creativity”. Twitter’s 140-character limit works because we can be creative with words regardless of restraints. Video, on the other hand, is much harder to limit without impacting creativity. We can use sentences and paragraphs of various lengths to communicate a message via. text, but when most videos explore stunning scenery or convey an important message, six seconds is simply not enough.

Vine tapped into a branch of social media which was on the rise. Snapchat’s ten-second messaging encouraged a new, fast-paced way of communicating, and looped GIFs have always lingered on the Internet. Twitter’s video app had to offer something different, so it messed around with looped videos with an even tighter limit of six seconds. Whilst it was popular in the short run, people soon returned to Snapchats and GIFs, with Vines only appearing should they be a massive viral hit.

There’s something to learn from Vine’s demise. Some mediums cannot be restrained – certainly not to six seconds. Twitter’s magic number of 140 just works and Snapchat’s success comes down to having those four extra seconds.

They know their limits; you can only restrict communication to a certain extent.

4 thoughts on “Why forced comedy means it’s the end of the Vine | The Friday Article

  1. I’ve never really been a massive fan of Vine, I’ve watched a few before but I genuinely do find a lot of them to be very fake and forced and sometimes I don’t agree with them at all! I think Snapchat is much better because there’s such a larger diverse range of things that you can do and you have your friends snapchats etc to watch! Great post though it’s really great to hear your thoughts on vine x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, me neither. I used to like it at first but then its popularity declined rapidly.

      I’m glad you agree with my point on Vine’s being forced, fake and so forth. As for Snapchat, this may be pedantic, but I think those extra four seconds definitely help in terms of getting a message across. As you say, there’s a diverse range of things you can do on Snapchat’s video feature (I mean, filters is one big example) and when you combine it with their photo and text functions, it’s just a more well-rounded app compared to Vine.

      Thanks for commenting! I’m glad you enjoyed it.


  2. I never really got into Vine, but I agree with you that it often seemed a bit forced. I think that’s WHY I never got into it! I’m a big fan of seeing the personality behind the blogger, so I love Snapchat because it always seems a bit more genuine and spontaneous. Vine always seemed too much like people were just trying to become the next internet sensation.


    Liked by 1 person

    • I think that’s why I never got into it, either. When people made short comedy videos, I would watch them, but soon enough, most of them became forced and were desperate to be the next viral thing – as you say – so I deleted the app.

      I think that’s why it’s been discontinued as an app, because most people have realised that this is what was happening.

      As for Snapchat, I agree. I think the extra four seconds helps and it allows for more creativity and options, I think (take filters and the fact you can draw on videos, for example).

      On the whole, the death of Vine is unsurprising to me.

      Thanks for commenting!


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