The Enduring Influence of Vine
It’s been around a year and a half since Vine collapsed in our arms and took its last dying breath, and we recently heard that the creators of Vine 2 are putting the project on hold. I still remember feeling genuine sadness when I heard the news, and couldn’t process my shock upon realizing I’d never hear another “My name is Jeff” again (on second thought..that was kinda welcome).
However, although the app was discontinued, Vine comedy and culture has endured. People continue to dress up as famous Vines for costume parties. One of Vine’s most recognizable memes got a shoutout in the year’s biggest blockbuster. And how many times have you sat down to watch a movie with your friends but you ended up watching a 45 minute Vine compilation instead?
Over the past year and a half, it’s become clear that Vine comedy is here to stay. But in the over-saturated market of digital comedy content, the pervasiveness of Vine is unprecedented. Many platforms have born and died without making any waves, and many popular videos on lasting platforms are buried by the constant circulation of new content. So what exactly has allowed Vine comedy to live on?
For one, the people on the app were talented. Vine provided an easy place to create and distribute one-liners, which was attractive for any comedian who wanted a place to create short videos on the fly. Comedians flocked to the platform to test out their jokes and grew huge followings in the process, and many of these people have gone on to have successful careers in the entertainment industry. Many former Viners have gone on to have wildly successful Youtube careers, such as Christine Sydelko, JusReign, and Cody Ko. Many personalities have been consistently featured on digital comedy networks, like Victor Pope Jr. on Super Deluxe. Some have written jokes for popular TV shows, like Connor O’Malley for Seth Meyers.
Vine’s short format was unique and spurred creativity. The six second time limit forced creators to think outside the box when they were also being confined to one. Some Viners used this to establish signature styles, like Sarah Schauer’s zoom or Nick Colletti’s ”lischp”. Others were able to dabble in the absurd and unexpected, like Adam & Patrick Perkins. And some of the best videos on Vine were from random kids with a phone who just happened to capture the funniest “kids say the darndest things” moments.
The app’s features allowed Vine to build an unbreakable community. With the ability to comment and like, tag friends, and re-vine to your own followers, it was easy to see the videos that people you followed were viewing. As a result, Vine brilliantly facilitated virality. Its popular videos spread like wildfire, uniting fans around their favorite comedians. And because Vine’s conception occured around the beginning of burgeoning meme culture, some of our most ubiquitous memes were created on the app. In this sense, the age of Vine was a critical cultural moment in which comedy viewed several inches from your face felt like a shared experience.
Most importantly, Vine was accessible. It provided a space for undiscovered talent of all ages and walks of life to be creative - all they needed was a phone with a camera. Vine allowed a group of diverse, groundbreaking voices to get noticed, and it’s clear that these voices aren’t going away anytime soon.
For all of these reasons, Vine comedy has left a mark on the collective memory of internet comedy fans, and their desire to relive these moments has caused Vine’s comedy to outlive its app. With the future of V2 unclear, we’re gonna have to rely on the Vine archive and long compilation videos to get us through this murky potentially Vine-less future. Vine may be dead, but it will live forever...in our hearts.