Vine: Gone but far from forgotten as archive goes live

23 Jan 2017

Vine. Image: Annette Shaff/Shutterstock

Twitter’s decision to shelve Vine in late 2016 heralded the end of a viral sensation, though it’s not going anywhere just yet.

The four-year lifespan of Vine saw millions of short, snappy videos created, curated and shared globally. However, the service was simply not profitable.

So late last year, Twitter understandably announced its plans to cease Vine’s service, with Snapchat and Instagram essentially doing Vine’s job better.

Archive live

However, Twitter has now repurposed the Vine URL, with all previously created videos now hosted online for viewers to enjoy.

Categorised into years, genres and even staff picks, the 2013-16 online tombstone is one of constant enjoyment.

There’s no way to embed the Vines, though, meaning they’re pretty much hosted on and nowhere else, and could essentially be removed on a whim, if Twitter ever feels the need.

Another change is that the loop counts are now frozen.

It’s a palatable end to a service that was, in its time, revolutionary.

Like most internet and media companies who get too close to the woods to see the trees, Twitter’s attention was distracted by a range of other problems and opportunities, from IPOs to CEO changes. It failed to see the promise of the service, which created a new genre in short, instant video content.

Happy and engaged

Vine was never truly integrated into Twitter and, as Snapchat and Instagram went through relentless upgrades and constant tweaks to their services to keep audiences happy and engaged, Vine rotted.

Vine co-founder Rus Yusupov, along with co-founders Dom Hofmann and Colin Kroll, sold their company to Twitter in 2013 for a reported $30m.

Kroll and Yusupov went on to release Hype, an alternative video format, just days after their original creation’s demise last winter.

Hype is a live streaming video service, much like Periscope. But it has a twist, or a few twists, with users able to incorporate other media into their live streams.

For example, if you’re recording a vlog, you can throw photos, videos or gifs from your camera roll into the live stream. You can play music from your phone’s library, add text and emoji.

Vine. Image: Annette Shaff/Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic