Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Dead on the Vine

Color me shocked.

Last week, in addition to announcing a 10% cut in overall staff, Twitter pronounced their breakthrough media platform -- Vine -- officially dead. In the coming months, the app used to make 6 second cinematic masterpieces will soon be discontinued.

This paradigm-shifting news sent dozens of Fortune 100 companies scurrying to their collective whiteboards.

How, they wondered, would they be able to tell their unique brand engaging stories and actively connect with consumers on an ongoing and authentic basis that resulted in exponential sales growth without their precious Vine videos...oh wait, that didn't happen.

Is that schadenfreude in the air? Of course it is.

You see I was skeptical of this digital horsecockery when it first arrived on the scene.

Pardon my cynicism, but I spent a lifetime trying to craft compelling spots into 30 second time slots. And poo-pooed the media genii who convinced our clients it could all be done in 15 seconds. So when some media planner with baby soft hands and a carefully-sculpted lumberjack beard told me it all had to be done in these new 6 second Vines, I quickly volunteered to write the email blasts.

Not one to hold back, I posted this in 2014.

Perhaps it's only fitting that a media platform that was short on substance, short on engagement, and short on any meaning whatsoever, was also short on life. Barely lasting two years in the public eye.

Who knows how this will reverberate throughout the industry.

Because, as my previous posting noted, Twitter had also created an entire division dedicated to measuring and analyzing Vine data -- Loop Counts. And that in turn spawned all new hirings in the ad agency world and exciting opportunities for social media analysts.

But, if there are no Vines then sadly there is no need for skilled professional Loop Counters. And this is where it really gets sad.

Because if an MBA with a degree from Wharton and a proven two year track record of extracting valuable brand insights from people watching 6 second videos while sitting on the crapper, can't make a decent living and have enough money in his pocket for a $7 cold brew coffee, what hope do the rest of us have?

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