I read a post by a marketer who said Twitter would be dead in 6 months because Vine shutdown. I just shook my head in disbelief. Is this marketer attempting to be like the bookie that picks a 21 point underdog as a winner so that he can say he called it?
Last week marketers and Vine superstars mourned the end of Vine (I was not an active Vine user). Vine was owned by Twitter and one of the first “Video Burst” social media platforms. Users of Vine were able to post videos up to 6 seconds in length, and some of them were very entertaining. In fact, Vine launched the careers of some social media superstars. Some of them are even making money now through sponsorships and YouTube. For some Vine came at just the right time to give them their 15 minutes of fame, or longer in some cases. For most, it was just a novelty that had its time but is no longer relevant in a world full of live streaming opportunities.
Why Did Vine Fail?
When Vine launched in January 2013 there was not much in the way of competition. Twitter purchased Vine for $30 million in late 2012 and launched it a few months later. It was a novelty that caught on quick. The ability to record up to 6-second videos and upload them from your Smartphone intrigued a lot of people and creative people began uploading entertaining content. It caught on so fast that 5 months after Vine launched, Instagram began allowing 15-second video uploads, and that’s when Vine’s demise began.
Instagram was already established for a few years as a photo sharing site giving it the upper hand once they launched video sharing. Instagram continued to improve on their video sharing, eventually increasing the maximum size to 60 seconds, and adding Snapchat like features.
Did I say Snapchat? That’s right! Snapchat also came along and became the darling of the social media world. Snapchat allows you to upload 10-second clips and images. Both Instagram and Snapchat continue to evolve while Vine remained stagnant in innovation.
Then there’s monetization. Vine never really established a way to monetize the platform. Yes, I am aware that there are social platforms who state they have no intention of monetizing but Twitter isn’t one of them, and that’s a foolish plan.
The true nail in the coffin probably came when Twitter launched Periscope. Periscope was launched in the spring of 2015 and was one of the first live video streaming apps available for Smartphone users. Periscope battled with Meerkat and a few other startups for a few months before it took off as the premier live video smartphone app. Periscope also continues to evolve. They recently announced the launch of Periscope Producer (allowing you to use your own video equipment) and a soon to come VIP program. Periscope continues to innovate, partially because Facebook and others have launched their own versions of live streaming.
The Key is Innovation
We live in a very fast-paced world today. News and information are available instantly. You can receive an order placed on Amazon the same day you placed the order in some areas. If you don’t remain innovative even for a few months you will fail. Vine did not innovate, and perhaps Twitter let it go once they acquired Periscope. During that time Instagram and Snapchat continue to evolve while Twitter continued to improve on Periscope, Facebook Live launched and many other live streaming and video sharing platforms continue to surface.
Twitter is NOT Dead
Yes, Twitter has had some problems as of late. Several large potential buyers backed out. The NFL Thursday night game is not getting the attention they hoped (NFL ratings are down across the board, likely due to the election), stocks drop every time there is a negative story, and on and on.
But let’s just take a look at the above paragraph. Twitter had several large suitors for parent companies. One backed out and that probably meant the others got scared. Someone will make a bid again. They are carrying most of the Thursday night NFL games..no small accomplishment. They are also live streaming NBA shows (not games). If they get MLB I am sold. Twitter and Google have partnered again so that Tweets will be indexed on Google.
They continue to improve Periscope and continue to try to improve on their core service. There even exists a Twitter copycat. Twitter has worked to improve their analytics reporting & dashboard. Not to mention you can upload video right to Twitter. Twitter connects with so many other social media platforms, websites and services easier than any other platform.
Basically, Twitter trimmed the fat. Like many other companies, when times are lean, they cut the services that are not carrying their own weight. Twitter continues to innovate in other areas and has a very loyal user base, including me. They still have one of the highest active user totals among social platforms. Heck, if MySpace is still around then how can Twitter be dead? Twitter is not going anywhere anytime soon.
And in case you’re wondering, yes I have gotten business from Twitter, as have some of my clients.