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

Remembering Vine and anticipating what's coming next

Vine logo
Photo © Vine.co

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 news — especially given that so many great videos had been shared on the platform over the years. Shortly after Vine was taken down, a Vine camera app was released and put in its place (also now discontinued) 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 still be visited online, but you won't find much of anything there except for a goodbye note to its users. 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 and share super short video clips that could be linked together in one video for a total of six seconds. Each Vine video (simply called a "vine") played in a continuous loop. They could be embedded and viewed directly in Twitter’s timeline or into 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, a profile, a search tab, and an interactions tab.

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. Tons of memes were born on Vine, which spread practically overnight.

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 has been poorly missed since its demise, but many of of the most popular Vine stars have moved to platforms like Instagram and YouTube to keep creating and interacting with their fans. Meanwhile, it appears that Vine might be making a comeback.

V2: The Return of Vine?

In December of 2017, not even a year after Vine was discontinued, Vine co-founder Dom Hoffman tweeted an image with a green background and "V2" in white lettering, suggesting that he was working on new platform inspired by Vine. The tweet received hundreds of thousands of both retweets and likes.

A TechCrunch article published in January of 2018 confirmed that V2 is in the works and that several former Vine stars have been contacted about it. According to Hoffman, the plan was to launch V2 sometime in the spring or summer of 2018. Some things would be familiar, but many things would be new — and it certainly wouldn't be a complete copy of Vine.

Unfortunately, TechCrunch reported in May of 2018 that Hoffman halted development of the new version of Vine — at least for the time being. The app had to be postponed to due a legal and financial difficulties.