I heard it through the grapevine.
Vine, the six second video streaming service, is ending. Twitter is killing it.
I WAS going to post a round-up of my favorite Vines next week BUT I GUESS THAT IS MOOT NOW. (On second though, I'll pepper this post with the vines and this post will look weird and broken in a couple months. JUST LIKE MY FEELINGS ABOUT ENDING VINE.)
Sorry. I haven't had a chance yet to really process my feelings. I'm at the first stage of grief: eating.
I guess Vine was important to me for a few reasons. For one: it was just really impressive to me that people could get in a solid joke or sketch in six seconds.
There were a lot of puns.
I like puns. But there was some high concept stuff too, that probably had a TON of effort put into it even though it was silly. I'll post one such video, but describe it below for future generations.
A man in glasses says, "Think fast!" and throws a wiffleball. "Think fast..." another man ponders, as intense violin music ramps up. His thoughts are flooded with facts about mitochondria, square roots, and the fact that Leonardo Dicaprio has never won an oscar. The wiffleball hits him in the face. A ton of production for something that lasted six seconds. Special effects, a soundtrack, slow-mo... Props to Daniel Gonzalez, who is one of the big names on Vine. Well. Was.
Vine also had this great internet comedy feedback loop quality. Someone would post a six second video of something silly and ridiculous. Maybe a kid running into the back of a car or a girl dancing by herself before falling off her bed. One thing that always got attention was the various awkward animal-like robots from Boston Dynamics, because they were just so ridiculous looking.
People took the original video and remixed it. Added a joke to the joke. Made fun of the original joke. Took that joke and morphed it together with a totally different reference. On and on. Humor on the internet is a lot of this looping in on itself stuff. It's immediately an inside joke you only "get" if you knew the original. This humor is what I grew up with, so I felt very at home with Vine.
There was, of course, non-humor related videos too. Sometimes people would shoot something cool or artsy. And cute animal videos. Can't forget those. (Non-Vine link in hopes future generations can watch this corgi hopping down stairs.)
I loved it. I would come home after a hard day of work and just veg and watch Vine videos. I didn't have to care or be invested. It was a "brain shutting down" activity that usually made me laugh.
I only ever posted one Vine. It was a video of me saying, "...Am I doing this right?" while filming a literal Vine. I deleted it out of sheer embarrassment. It sort of lives on in this Instagram picture.
I'm glad we had Vine, if only for a moment. I've got a lot of young comedians to follow on their other social media accounts now. I was listening to an NPR Marketplace interview about Vine ending. Ben Johnson from Marketplace Tech said, "Every artist needs contraints, right?" When Vine first started I was like, "That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard of. How can someone do ANYTHING in six seconds?"
Viners proved me wrong over and over. Here's one video that disproves my theory, quite handily, in six seconds.(Here's the YouTube of the slightly longer video for after Vine takes these down.)
We go from killing a spider to outer space in six seconds.
I'm really happy I was wrong. RIP Vine.