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A large share of Vine’s top creators have stopped posting on the platform since the beginning of the year, according to research conducted by Makerly and covered by The Washington Post.
This is a troubling sign for Vine and adds to its struggle with decreasing app usage and departing staff.
Over half of Vine’s top 9,725 accounts have either deleted their profiles or stopped posting to the platform since January 1. Those accounts had at least 15,000 followers, which puts them in the top 1% on the platform. This data corroborates an earlier report in The Wall Street Journal that Vine’s stars were leaving for competitors like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
Vine pioneered the short-form video when it launched in 2013, creating a novel genre of short-form content and providing a launchpad for a new generation of internet stars to emerge. But in the three years since, it has failed to innovate on top of this core offering and protect itself from imitation by rivals.
All in all, Vine’s decline is a consequence of the following factors:
- Competing platforms have better functionality. Vine’s decline can be traced to the rapid rise of Snapchat and the introduction of videos on Instagram in 2013. Instagram allowed users to post videos up to 15 seconds, compared to Vine’s six, and also came with built-in editing functions that Vine lacked. Snapchat’s platform came with the ability to draw on top of images and videos, as well as add filters and stickers.
- Better incentives to create content on other platforms. Vine had 200 million monthly users in August 2015, according to Venture Beat. While substantial, this number still pales in comparison to audiences on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Meanwhile, Vine had no mechanisms for rewarding its creators until last month, when it allowed select Vine users to join Twitter Amplify. YouTube and Facebook, meanwhile, have long-established revenue-share schemes in place. In some cases, Facebook even pays creators directly. Furthermore, YouTube trains creators on how to grow their channels, and also provides professional studio space. Finally, the shift of marketers away from Vine limits the opportunities for creators to earn money from endorsements and influencer marketing partnerships.
- Vine and Twitter’s bullying problem. Vine has also been criticised for failing to moderate hate and filter out harmful comments on its platform, causing some creators to flee from the negative space. One such example is Brittany Furlan, the fifth most-followed star on Vine, who received menacing remarks on the platform daily. She has since left Vine for Facebook and Instagram where she says the comments are more positive.
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