How Vine Killed the YouTube Star
What do Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen have in common?
Well, in addition the similar makeup of estrogen biologically and identical singing registers, the pair both found fame on the same stage: YouTube.com.
Success for both sparked in the last five years. Usher somehow stumbled upon the young teen Bieber’s video (not sure how that happened, but not going to ask questions.) For Carly, she was discovered in Canada, offline. However, Canada can not be held responsible for Jepsen’s success (good or bad?) Instead, her video of “Call Me Maybe” caught fire on YouTube, garnering over half a billion views to date.
The stage for performers, singers, comedians, and exhibitionists alike has been set on YouTube. People are getting paid lots and lots of real money and getting great attention for their talents showcased online. Actor Donald Glover began as a YouTube skit comedian and is now a very famous rapper (Childish Gambino) and actor in film and primetime television (as seen on NBC’s Community).
But now a new medium is trying to draw the curtain on said stage, and they’re doing a great job.
Vine, the new app that everyone knows about but not everyone knows how to use, has swept the world with its popularity. In the one year it’s been alive, it’s already been acquired by social media giant Twitter.
Vine for sure has three things going for it: It’s pretty, it’s simple, and it only needs your attention for six seconds at a time. The app allows users to record six-second videos from the app, with the catch that you your finger must remain on the screen for the video to record. In other words, when you take your finger off the screen, the video will stop recording and you can start recording at a later time or different location.
The restriction has garnered some of the most interesting content visual social media has ever seen, and with such variety: comedians with hilarious vignettes and skits, musicians with beautiful riffs and choruses, and magicians with astounding effects. There’s also a small community of scantily clad dancer Viners that I don’t know anything about.
People getting so-called “Vine famous” are just that: famous. A huge chunk of the popular Viners have millions of subscribers. Popular YouTubers, though many are in millions, are happy with 10,000. Here’s where Vine takes the edge of YouTube. The virality of Vine videos is insane and catches fire faster than any other type of social media content. It’s the only type of content where the share button (called a “revine,” which is similar to “retweet” on Twitter) is more popular than the “like” function. Where YouTube videos are measured by view counts (videos are considered popular with ~100,000 views), Vine videos are measured by likes and revines, which, on popular videos, reach over 600,000 shares on the app alone, not to mention on other platforms.
Marketers are targeting Vine stars for product endorsements instead of the previous preference YouTube. This validates my argument in a whole new way. The fact that marketing VP’s are putting budget into uneditable six-second videos shot on an iPhone (instead of tried-and-true YouTube videos) says a whole lot about how epic Vine is.
If you’re not watching Vine, you’re missing out. YouTube is not going anywhere, but fame is being found in a new place, and people with stars in their eyes and dreams of a quick buck are flocking away to Vine. The way I see it, YouTube is the older sibling, maybe he starts for the high school baseball team, but his younger brother just got accepted onto a club football team who his parents travel with, and he has a six pack.