Sorry, But I'm Glad Vine Is Dead
Six-second video-sneeze platform Vine today was unceremoniously banished to the great app store in the sky. Now that it's gone, can we agree that Vine was a social media horror show that never should have existed?
My rejection of Vine isn't some newly realized, post-mortem revelation; it's been a long-simmering beef. Those close to me know that I've always found Vine to be a digital monstrosity that served no real purpose and arguably regressed us as a species.
I remember when Vine first popped up as the it app of 2012. You could say that it was the Ello, or perhaps Peach of the day. But while those apps have faded from view, Vine remained around long past its expiration date, thanks in large part to its $30 million acquisition by Twitter. As an intrepid young tech blogger at the time, I was obligated to explore the hot new thing. And so, dabble I did into the world of arbitrarily truncated videos. And it was super dumb.
Vine is literally the worst form of communication in our species' history. Worse than prison inmates marking cell walls with their feces.— (((Evan Dashevsky))) (@haldash) February 13, 2013
I think what I hated most about Vine was its looping, insisting nature. Whenever there was a failed attempt at humor or art (and there were a lot of those), a Vine didn't just fade away like a misfired tweet, it repeated again and again and again; slapping you in the face with each abrupt cut.
But my biggest gripe was how those little bits of video vomit would too often bleed over into my beloved Twitter feed. There was no escape. Back in Vine's salad days, my Twitter feed was overwhelmed with failed looping nonsense, prompting a number of unfollows.
I appreciate any technology that A) lowers barriers to entry (Vine made it very easy to create, edit and publish videos) and B) implements some constraints as a means to bolster creativity (Twitter would be nothing without its 140-character limit). While there was surely some cool stuff to be found in the Vineyard, it was mostly a jarring menagerie of too many barely there ideas.
Beyond being a bottomless well of nontent (h/t to Max Eddy for that phrase), Vine never evolved beyond its horrible initial incarnation. While Vine might have been ahead of the mobile video curve in 2012, it was quickly crowded out by superior broadcasting options like Twitter's own Periscope, Instagram videos, Snapchat and now Facebook Live that were not arbitrarily imprisoned inside a six-second window.
While Vine did try in recent months to move beyond the realm of six-second video blips, it was too late as its parent company faces an uncertain financial future. Now it's dead, and I for one am glad.