What Was Vine? Looking Back on the Social Video Sharing App

Remembering Vine and Looking At How Twitter Transformed It

Vine logo
Photo © Vine.co

Update: The Vine app was discontinued by Twitter (its parent company) on January 17th 2017 after failing to keep up with competing apps like Instagram. Given that the app still had a relatively active community, users were obviously really disappointed to hear the new—especially given that so many great videos had been shared on the platform over the years.

Twitter decided to turn Vine into a camera app (available for iOS and Android) so that users could at least still have some kind of app that would allow them to create fun, six-second videos that they could post to Twitter or save to their devices.

Vine.co can also still be accessed and used to search for profiles or to see previously popular Vine videos that really took off. If you'd like to know more about what Vine was all about, continue reading below.

What Exactly Was Vine?

Vine was a video-sharing app designed to allow users to film super short clips that could be linked together in one video for a total of six seconds. Each short video played in a continuous loop. They could be embedded and viewed directly in Twitter’s timeline or any web page.

How the Vine App Worked

Vine was an app that could be access and viewed on the web, but you needed to use it as a mobile app on a compatible iOS or Android device to be able to actually create and share videos. The look and feel of the app was very similar to Instagram, showing you a scrollable feed of all your friends’ videos in the home feed.

Users could either upload existing clips into the Vine video editor or film them directly through the app.

Whether it was one clip on its own or several smaller clips with cuts between them, Vine eventually introduced more advanced editing tools that allowed users to trim their clips and even add music from their music library that could optionally play to match the beat of the song playing.

Exploring and Interacting on Vine

Vine offered users a lot of great ways to discover new videos.

The Explore tab was broken up into sections like Trending, Comedy and Art, which would show recently popular videos in those categories.

Vine would also often take a very popular Vine user and feature them on a spotlight tab by showing a collection of their best and most popular videos. 

Unlike Instagram, users could also "revine" videos from other users to share them on their own profiles. This was great exposure for users who wanted to make their mark on the platform and it was how lots of videos would go viral very fast.

Vine will be poorly missed, but that's the way it goes sometimes in the world of social media. A platform may be wildly popular for a few good years, but there's never any guarantee that it will last forever.