Why Vine Failed

Vine, a video sharing social service in which users share 6-second videos, announced it was shutting down in the upcoming months. After being launched in 2012, Twitter acquired the mobile app for $30 million and it quickly became the most-downloaded free app by 2013. So what went wrong?

When Vine debuted, it was a trailblazer in video content as other platforms were still picture-based. There was strong interest among consumers and advertisers because the ability to share video content was largely an untapped market at the time. Then Vine’s biggest competitor, Instagram, which was recently acquired by Facebook at time, rolled out their own type of video capability. In addition, Snapchat updated their app to include ‘stories’ which shared recorded content between users. This ultimately had a devastating toll on Vine as they failed to make their own existence relevant due to a lack of innovation to keep up with competitors.

In addition to competition, the app also had trouble keeping their users happy. Vine, much like YouTube, relies on its top creators to keep producing content to keep consumers coming back. The app’s most viewed users spoke to developers pleading for more developments to help them grow. When they failed to keep them satisfied with their interface, they either left completely or shared additional content to other growing platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. When popular “Vine stars” stopped making original videos, it was nearly impossible to stop from consumers from flocking to other mediums, which ultimately lead to its decline.

Moral of the story: listen to your users and keep innovating.