Elon Musk has once again set the social media internet on fire with his recent poll asking if he should bring back Vine from the dead and even went ahead to solicit advice from YouTube phenomenon Mr. Beast at beating TikTok. Vine started its journey in 2012, letting users create six-second-long looping videos loaded with eye-catching effects that quickly went viral. Vine produced some of the biggest modern-day social media stars, such as Zach King, Lele Pons, King Bach and Logan Paul. Vine was not precisely a money-making haven for advertisers, but it set the ball rolling for the creator-driven economy that is prospering over at Instagram, TikTok and YouTube.
The famous 1600 Vine Street in Los Angeles even set the tone for creators living together in swanky pads and collectively churning out one viral video after another. Vine had its moment of fame in the same age group currently obsessed with TikTok and Reels. Of course, Vine’s shutdown in 2016 wasn’t shocking, but it was quite a cultural shift in the social media landscape. Vine stars quickly found fame elsewhere and continue to stay relevant – with handsome earnings in tow – on YouTube, TikTok and Instagram. TikTok reaped the benefits of Vine’s demise, while Meta and YouTube quickly copied the short-video formula to great success.
Elon Musk’s apparent plans to revive Vine have sparked quite some passionate debate on Twitter. Musk appears to be planning a host of radical changes at Twitter, and increasing focus on video seems to be one of them. Over the weekend, Musk responded affirmatively to a Twitter user’s request to allow longer video uploads. According to The Verge, The billionaire has already changed Twitter’s landing page for logged-out users to the Explore page, where they can see and engage with the trending content instead of hitting them with the log-in or sign-up page. The Tesla CEO is looking at video as one of the key sources to drive engagement. Bringing back Vine, which already has a horde of nostalgia-stricken fans ready to see it revived, might inject some creator-centric video energy into Twitter as a social media platform.
Vine Deserves A Comeback In A Fitting Era
Twitter barely offers any semblance of a creator ecosystem, especially regarding videos. Vine has the potential to at least attract talent from established players like TikTok. Of course, it would be unwise to imagine that Vine – assuming it comes back – will instantly attract creators to create original content, but even if they cross-post the same videos that they share as TikToks and Reels, Twitter might well end up with its own small ecosystem of content that users flock to see. It’s not unheard of, as TikTok influencers routinely post the same video on Instagram and YouTube to boost views.
At the end of the day, every view counts, and eventually, the trickle effect might grow strong enough to attract advertisers and sponsor interest in Twitter. Interestingly, Twitter began laying the groundwork for a TikTok-like vertical feed even before Musk took over. Assuming Vine eventually comes back, and Musk manages to port over its vertical feed to Twitter with a dedicated tab of its own, it isn’t hard to imagine Twitter’s most loyal users spending at least a few minutes daily to watch videos of dumb pets. Musk has the freedom – and a pocket deep enough – to foster a creator ecosystem, howsoever small, around Twitter and Vine. It would be quite something to see and will inject some unpredictable competitive energy into the short video segment that is currently dominated by three players only.
Source: Elon Musk / Twitter, The Verge