Vine popularity declines among BYU community as app closes

Vine announced it will be closing its services in upcoming months. Few BYU-affiliated accounts have posted since 2015. (Vine)

The number of postings from the BYU community on the once-popular social media site Vine have decreased leading up to Vine’s Oct. 27 announcement that the company will discontinue its mobile app.

“Thank you,” the Vine and Twitter teams state in the news release. “To all the creators out there — thank you for taking a chance on this app back in the day.”

For Vine, “back in the day” was in 2013 when the social media site was an up-and-coming video sharing site. Most of its posts came from its first two years, and a simple search of the BYU hashtag yields mostly material from 2013 through 2015.

“I think everyone saw it coming because no one really uses Vine anymore,” Vine-user Gabrielle Mckeon said.

The BYU Cougars Vine account last posted in March 25, 2016. This is a clip from February 26, 2016 of BYU football player Harvey Langi posing for a photographer. (Vine/BYU Cougars)

So far Twitter — the company that owns Vine — hasn’t formally announced why they plan to discontinue the site. Jake Ferrin, the BYU alumnus known for his popular LDS Instagram account “normonmemes,” believes Twitter doesn’t have the resources to keep up with Vine.

“I can speculate,” Ferrin said. “Twitter over the years hasn’t been doing great. I think they are scaling back to work on their main business.”

A Business Insider article also suggests Twitter is not doing as well as it once was, pointing out the news of Vine’s shutdown came the same day Twitter announced it would lay off more than 300 workers.

Ferrin also believes although “everybody loved Vine, they didn’t really spend time on Vine.” Many social media celebrities who started on Vine have since moved to other venues like Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube.

“Vine was the way that (social media celebrities) gained their following,” BYU student Jake Summers said. “That’s how they created their online presence.”

Ferrin said he isn’t surprised Vine lost its following in later years.

“There’s not a lot of room in Vine for growth,” Ferrin said.

BYU Vocal Point maintains a semi-active Vine account. This August 2016 post was their most recent posting. (Vine/BYU Vocal Point)

Summers said he feels bad for major Viners, saying it might be an “awkward transition for them.”

Ferrin said he isn’t too worried because he and another BYU graduate are in the process of creating their own video-sharing app.

Ferrin also said video-sharing is a “heavily saturated market.” Even before Vine’s announcement, Vine-like videos were being posted on Instagram. Snapchat is also the same kind of quick, humorous video-sharing venue, according to Ferrin.

In the recent announcement, Vine also assured users that videos will be available on for download. Twitter also said users will be notified before the company makes any changes to the app or website.

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