Twitter’s decision to kill Vine won’t kill the flowers that sprouted from it. Fickle fans have moved on to rival video apps like Snapchat, and Vine stars like Cameron Dallas and Nash Grier have found other places to flourish, too.
Yes, they will mourn. But they will also go on with their lives.
“It’s like having a sick grandmother,” said Eric Galen, who represents Vine stars including Nebraska pop-rap duo “Jack & Jack.”
“You know she’s been sick for a while,” he told TheWrap. “But when she’s dead it’s still a shock.”
Galen, a partner at Greenberg Glusker who specializes in technology and entertainment law, said the savviest influencers and brands track trends well enough to have known this was coming. Prominent Viners have already pivoted, building and monetizing their brands on a multitude of other platforms.
Vine dropped out of the App Store’s top 100 earlier this year, and continued to descend down the charts, as social media personalities drifted toward new platforms that had moved in on Vine’s extreme short-form video wheelhouse.
Twitter bought Vine in 2012 and it quickly became popular enough to become a verb, as seemingly everyone with a smartphone raced to “vine” something worth sharing.
But given the short lifecycle of internet relevance, Vine faded nearly as fast as it rose. Snapchat — which started as a disappearing message app — and Muscial.ly — which began as a lip-singing product — enhanced their capabilities and started to pull users. And several have also migrated to YouTube, like Vine star Logan Paul, whose official YouTube channel has nearly 1 million subscribers.
Galen said only Vine stars slow to adapt will feel some pain.
“For those Vine stars who welcomed and actively pursued and converted their fans on Vine to other platforms, they’re faring fine,” he said. “Because they’ve transitioned. But there are some influencers who get complacent — and those that get complacent are in big trouble when something like this happens. The club that was hot a few years ago isn’t hot anymore.”
Vine’s most followed personality, Andrew “King Bach” Bachelor, rode his high profile on the platform to starring roles in traditional media, appearing on shows like “House of Lies” and “The Mindy Project.” Last week, Fox went into development on a sitcom headlined by Bachelor, who will play a former Navy SEAL. And he’s hardly the only Vine star to turn six seconds of silliness into a lot more than six figures a year.
“Three years ago, you were just a normal high school kid in the Midwest, and through this Vine app you go to girls chasing you down the street and making millions of dollars,” Galen said.
Vine also became a way for brands to interact with their customers, but Galen said the demise of the service won’t affect them much.
“Brands have been doing more and more business on Snapchat as that’s grown,” he said. “They’re doing less and less on Vine as that falls.”
He doesn’t think Vine’s death is going to weigh on Twitter — it may even do the opposite. Twitter’s stock is down 25 percent year-to-date. Slow growth and an abuse problem haven’t helped lure investors or potential bidders, like Salesforce and Disney. Galen said cutting Vine loose could allow Twitter to concentrate on improving its core product, adding that while his clients have largely stopped using Vine, they still love tweeting.
“The influencers I work with are absolutely active on Twitter,” Galen said.
Still, Vine stars will have their day of mourning. And today is that day.
“Even though they know it’s dead, its still definitely emotional,” he said. “They literally owe their careers to Vine.”