Vine, What Could Have Been
What is Vine?
In the middle of 2012, Twitter shelled out $30 million for a video platform called Vine. The interesting thing about Vine? Users could only post 6 second videos to the platform. That’s it. The interesting thing about the $30 million price tag? Vine hadn’t even launched yet.
Who are these Vine Stars?
So Twitter dedicated some resources to it and Vine became quite popular growing to 200 million active users in just 3 years. Perhaps more popular than the service itself were the people who used the platform to make a career for themselves aka VINE STARS. These “Vine Stars” got very creative and began posting 6 second comedy skits. Their accounts rose to the top of the trending videos page and they accumulated hundreds of thousands of followers over night. Some of these stars leveraged their new found “fame” into movie deals, book deals, and comedy stand up tours… They created the best content on the platform and in turn, were the best marketing asset the platform had.
Taking a Page From YouTube
The rise of these Vines Stars is very similar to the rise of YouTube Stars. Thousands of people make $100k+ a year posting videos to YouTube thanks to YouTube’s “partner” program which allows quality content makes to share in the profit of the ads in front of their videos or charge a subscription to watch the content. YouTube recognizes that these content creators help drive millions of dollars in revenue for the company so they give them special tools to help them create better content and engage with their fans. This is exactly what Vine should have done.
The Bigger Picture
Keeping in mind that almost every Vine Star posts comedy videos… Vine should have given contracts to their top 5 or 10 content creators to be brand ambassadors. They could all go on a press tour together hitting the morning TV shows and doing skits with late night TV show hosts like Jimmy Fallon and Conan. They should have all went on a stand up comedy tour just like the American Idol concert tours where the top 10 performers from each season would travel around the country performing together. They should have partnered with Comedy Central or any TV station to do a weekly recap of the best vines in a Tosh.o or @Midnight style show. The list goes on… All of these would have driven viewers to Vine, making it a go-to spot for quality comedy content. Bringing more viewers in brings in more ad revenue and makes it a platform for up and coming comedians to get discovered.
Beyond the obvious comedy route, Vine had huge untapped potential in Twitter’s deal to stream The NFL’s Thursday night games. Vine should have been the exclusive place for Thursday night’s NFL game’s highlights. The paltform’s 6 second videos are perfect for highlights, quick injury reports, funny fan videos, and so much more. Distribute the short form content on NFL.com, The NFL TV Network, each of the teams playing’s social media accounts… The possibilites are endless!
Once again, Vine’s parent company Twitter had the opportunity to create a product that rivals Google or Facebook but doesn’t execute. They didn’t give a real reason as to why they are shutting it down but I hope they realize the opportunity they have with the other video platform they acquired, Periscope.
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