Vine is dead. In a shocking announcement, executives at Vine and its parent company Twitter announced that Vine would be discontinuing service in the coming months. The service will remain online, as will the accounts and vines that exist up to this point. Officially speaking, however, Vine is dead. The six-second looping video site exploded on the scene in 2013, creating a cultural revolution of short-form creators (and advertisers) that would take over social media and even pop culture.
Stars were born. Social media as a form of advertising and influencer marketing would change forever- and just like that, it's gone. Business, social media and communications experts have dove into the many reasons the site will be going away for good, but to honor Vine today, let's look back at the services it will join in the social networking graveyard.
1. Peach (2016 - )
When Peach launched in January 2016 at CES, it was the en vogue of all social networks. The social network was created by Vine co-founder Dom Hoffman, which is poetic considering the news that created this list in the first place. Poor Dom, just can't seem to catch a break in the crazy world of social medias?
Peach was a familiar pitch to those of us the social sphere: the "anti-social media network." Like many others, I gave the service a try. Using a series of GIFs and other quick-to-type responses, Peach was more of a "life-check-in service," rather than a networking site. Like Foursquare, but for your feelings. Excitement brewed quickly in response to the new app, but within a month, people had moved on the next top-trending download in the app store.
2. MySpace (2003 - still kicking)
It's a story we all know, and patiently await it's Hollywood blockbuster biopic: MySpace. A generation now lives glued to their phone, having never even really known what MySpace was or even is to this day. It's a punchline, a joke, something memes are made of.
MySpace has tried to remain relevant in today's social world, through rebranding and repurposing as a blog and music sharing site. Like an artifact of the internet days of yore, MySpace still stands today as the original social network, a title of which Facebook has no claim.
3. PHHHOTO (2014 - )
Is PHHHOTO, the gif-centered, social sharing app dead? Technically no, but according to my 17-year-old sister, the app is well past its prime. PHHHOTO (pronounced fo - hoto) was launched in the summer of 2014 and still retains a four-star rating on the Google Play and the App Store, but user-created GIFS are the not the market they once were.
Originally marketing as a party photo booth application, PHHHOTO transformed into a creator-based social network. While the creative and fun to use, PHHHOTO just doesn't have much else to offer. Between the greater amounts of storage required to save GIFs and the overall lack of sharing potential, PHHHOTO is beginning to fade. In the app world, user-generated content is always king, but once a gimmick, always a gimmick.
4. iTunes Ping (2010 - 2012)
Apple is notorious for its closed operating systems, and before the explosion of social media, it tried to hold the door shut with the launch of iTunes Ping in 2010. iTunes Ping, or Ping for short, was a social sharing and recommendation service built specifically for integration with iTunes. On paper, it was a great idea: a social account linked directly to your iTunes.
With Ping, you could follow your favorite artists and share songs and albums with family and friends. As an Apple tradition, however, not all their projects were destined to be the next iPhone. Ping was plagued with all kinds of problems, from spam avalanches to fake accounts and scammers. So in 2012, Apple shut down the service and reintroduced Facebook integration to iTunes.
Oh, and Spotify happened.
5. Google+ (2011- )
Yes, Google+ is still alive*. As alive as someone living on life support. Google+, launched by the search engine superpower Google in 2011, is a social networking site with over 2.5 billion users*. Of course, studies show only about 11 million of those users are active. Since Google+ is a necessary evil for anyone with a Google account, yeah, 2.5 billion sounds like a lot.
I've tried Google, I really have, to embrace your built-in social networking service. If it wasn't so clunky and confusing, maybe more people would turn to it. Problem is, I don't know how to add people I know, let alone find anything interesting to follow- and I'm pretty sure they can't find me either.
Honorable Mention: Club Penguin
Also alive and kicking, Club Penguin might be more of an imaginary friend than a total goner. Technically listed as a massive multiplayer online game, Club Penguin was for many of us, our first "social network." You socialized with those you thought were your friends, you socialized with your Puffle, and you socialized with all the trolling teenagers and creeping adults looking to start up conversations with children.
Like Bing Bong of Pixar's "Inside Out," Club Penguin is not so much gone but rather lost from many of our memories. It is poetic and beautiful in all it's penguin and Puffle glory. If you have a moment to log on once again, I highly recommend it.
Because we all remember our first time, getting banned from Club Penguin.
What will you miss most about Vine? Tweet me @KyleeSipowski, and we'll mourn this loss together!