Vine is dying.
The social media platform for six-second (or shorter) looping video clips, which Twitter bought in 2012 before it even launched, announced it'll be discontinuing its mobile app in the next few months, effectively killing the service. Vine's website will stay up as the company feels "it’s important to still be able to watch all the incredible Vines that have been made." But the capacity to make and upload them means an end to a beloved service that has become a ubiquitous source of jokes, memes, and manufactured teen heartthrobs. Vine's co-founder Rus Yusupov is less than thrilled, as Twitter laid him and the other co-founders off a little while back.
The death of Vine has been lingering in the air all year. In May, we learned that a Makerly analysis of 10,000 influential Vine users—the ones with the highest follower counts—found that most hadn’t Vined since 2015. Makerly CEO Sarah Ware said her findings revealed a “mass exodus” of the network’s most important users.
Vine's death leaves many easily answered questions: What spurred the shut down? (Vine wasn't making money.) Why did parent company Twitter decide now was the time? (See above.) And what will become of all those young, attractive Vine stars? (They'll be okay, we're sure, as there are other social media networks to dominate.)
But now is not the time to try and figure all of this out. Today, we simply mourn. Here are Fusion's favorite vines, presented in no particular order.
In 2014, Peaches Monroe changed the world in six seconds. She frequently made Vines that documented her daily life in South Chicago. But today, her eyebrows were so fucking fire, something special had to be done. Buckled up in the passengers seat of her moms car, she looked straight into the camera and gave us this gift: “We in this bitch. Finna get crunk. Eyebrows on fleek. Da fuq.” The term "on fleek" would go on to confound, then amuse, then annoy the world over, at on point even hitting the lamestream level of Anderson Cooper's lips. Godbless you, Peaches. May your eyebrow Vine Rest On Fleek.
In early 2015, I stumbled onto what I started calling ‘horse vine,’ a community largely made up of teenage girls who were into dressage, show-jumping, other equestrian sports, and who also loved video editing. There is (and will, I guess, continue to be) a sprawling archive of artfully edited vines of horses, their bodies made weirdly puppet-like by looping and dance music. But the best, in my opinion, is still this example from user ♫Addicted to Equine♫
The beauty of lawnmower flying to music is that the experience of it is greater than the sum of its parts. Sure, maybe you enjoy Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” maybe you’d otherwise focus more on a lawnmower slipping the surly bonds of Earth and lurching skyward, but together they form something transcendent. Just let your mind go blank and watch the lawnmower fly free, away from all your troubles.
The Song of the Summer in 2015 was not by Drake. Arguably, it was a vine loop of a guy singing “Why the fuck you lyin? Why you always lyin?” over and over again on top of the beat of Next's "Too Close.” You’d think given the wild popularity and transcendence of the meme that it was inspired by something important, like love. Nope. Nicholas Fraser got the idea for the video when he stole his mom’s car to go buy a donut.
“I’m in me mum’s car” is already an example of how fragile Vine is an archive. Tish Simmonds, the British then-18-year-old who posted it (and became a Vine microcelebrity because of it) already deleted the original post, though it survives on YouTube and in many, many remixed versions. The idea is simple, Tish is in her mum’s car (broom broom), and her mum wants her out. It’s dumb, but it works, and is another case of Vine’s low-entry mobile-ness being incredibly fun, if not profitable.
In an increasingly nightmarish election season, Vic Berger's vines and other edited video products have been a balm, elevating the absurdities of the past year (two years? has this election been happening forever?) into hysterical art. All the candidates have been victim to Berger's editing at some point, but maybe none more so than failed GOP primary participant Jeb Bush. All of Berger's Jeb vines evoke the pathos of a terrible man who seemed like he didn't really want to be running for president, but the 6 second loop of Jeb praising his various apple products might be his masterpiece. Macbook Pro, baby.
Duck Army, beautiful in its own screaming way, is really a testament to the mutability of vine. While the original, posted by charlie murphy and featuring a cacophonous chorus of plastic ducks, launched more remixes than I care to think about. The Backstreet Boys were made part of the duck army, Spongebob was recruited, other memes were incorporated. Seriously, too many remixes…almost.
Even Justin Bieber, our country's most prominent fuckboi, accepts the basic truth: jet fuel can't melt steel beams. WAKE UP, SHEEPLE.
Cool 3D World has expanded past Vine, into the broader social media universe of Facebook and Instagram, since it launched last fall, but it still seems at home on Vine. The uncanny mix of (mostly) body horror and exquisitely chosen noise works best when it can loop and loop and loop until you’re mesmerized and really want to stop watching, but can’t quite bring yourself to do so. It’s hard to pick the best example of this, but a good choice would be an early one: Man with Birds, which loops almost seamlessly and will haunt you.
Alana Hope Levinson is a writer and editor of things on the internet.
Ethan Chiel is a reporter for Fusion, writing mostly about the internet and technology. You can (and should) email him at firstname.lastname@example.org