Reactions to the closure of 6-second video app Vine continue to be mixed.
Some mourn what was considered to be an art medium, with strict rules that allowed creatives to do what they do best: accept the challenge and get creative with video. Others are relieved, glad that unfunny looping videos no longer clog up Twitter feeds. The vast majority remains saddened, yet unsurprised.
At its time of death, Vine was only four years old, but was already experiencing a significant drop-off in users and views. Combine Vine's demise with the fact that Twitter, its owner, is experiencing financial struggles including a 9% cut of its own workforce, and the fat trimming makes sense.
"Evolve or die" is a sentiment that applies to more than just companies. It rings true for social networks too.
But famous Viners aside, how are businesses coping with the loss of the app? A couple of years ago, everyone from startups to B2B businesses were encouraged to integrate Vine into their marketing strategies. Now that Vine is out for the count, what comes next to fill in that space?
Move onward and upward - to audiences on YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat
Last fall, nearly 20 of Vine's top 50 creators met with Vine to discuss a plan of action to save the app. They suggested everything from increasing their cut of revenue to introducing a stronger suite of editing tools - or else they, the individuals responsible for generating billions of views, would walk. The proposal went nowhere and the top Viners began drastically reducing postings on Vine as they ramped up efforts on YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat instead.
As Viner Jerry Purpdrank told The New York Times, Vine was merely a stepping stone to the next realm, one that everyone used and needed, but wasn't meant to stay stranded on in the long term.
The same can be said for businesses that use Vine. Minus the infinite loops, there's nothing you could post on Vine that you can't showcase on platforms like YouTube or Instagram. If you've been neglecting those accounts in favor of Vine, reestablish a strategy for the types of video content you'd like to share on other social video sites. Promote your product, share how-to advice, and mark major milestones for your audience. If you'd rather film a video in real-time, consider using Periscope to showcase a new product or service, provide a DIY demonstration, or take your viewers on a behind the scenes tour of your business.
Don't jump to a new video app because you have social media FOMO
It's long been an unfortunate social media stereotype that if you're on one platform, you should be on all platforms. Marketers, especially, have the exhausting and stressful job of constantly analyzing trends and trending apps/sites to predict which platform will be the next big thing so as to shuttle along as many brands as possible onto it. But rather than immediately hurry to fill in the Vine gap with something else to keep the content train chugging, I recommend leaving the space blank and reevaluating your social footprint.
In her recent article on Observer.com, Jeri Smith, CEO of Communicus, stated that a company should only invest in a new platform if it has asked itself a few questions first. Ideally, that platform should enable the brand to improve its perception and purchase funnel. It should help, not hinder, existing platforms and their budgets. It's also important to note the amount of time and effort invested into this platform too. Inevitably, one site will be put on the back burner in favor of creating content for the shiny new one - decide on which one that will be and why shuffling priorities around is beneficial for the brand.
If you're able to answer all of these questions, then you should be ready to take on a new app or social platform, as opposed to signing up for every site because you're afraid that you might miss the boat on a trend.
Protect your existing videos
Is it worth it to back up your existing Vines? 100% yes.
When the news broke that Vine would be discontinued, Medium noted that existing Vines would still be accessible to users and viewers. But the line "nothing is happening to the apps, website or your Vines today" bears a strange expiration date foreshadowing. Yes, nothing is happening to the Vines today, but what about in the coming months? While there's no telling what can happen next, it's a good idea to choose being safe over sorry and back up all of your hard work to have on file as a history from when your brand was invested in that platform.
In the end, some social networks will fold and others will rise from the ashes of where they once were, or existing channels will adopt new features. Rather than regret the time and money spent on a site that goes under, look back on it as a fun experience that allowed your brand to be put further on the map.
While the idea of building an Internet archive is still in need of definition for the long run, you can create your own Vine archive for your business that recalls the ups, downs, and everything in between from a time not too long ago when a large chunk of social media meant "Do it for the Vine."