The Titanic, Woolworths and the pound sterling. All things once believed to be too big to die, and then they did. And now it’s the turn Vine, the popular six-second video-sharing app, to join the other fallen Goliaths up there in the sky.
Four years to the month after buying it for £25m, Twitter yesterday announced the decision to axe the platform, a move which seems a bit like a terminally ill man cutting off one his limbs in the hope that this makes him die slightly slower. Basically, Vine failed because it’s really hard for advertisers to monetise grainy looped clips of tipsy teens dabbing and cats doing a funny dance, but on the other hand, that’s the whole reason it was any good in the first place.
A company statement says the app will be discontinued ‘in the coming months’ and, rather ominously, that ‘Nothing is happening to the apps, website or your Vines today.’ Today. Don’t worry all, we’re not going to immediately delete the entire archive. Well, not today, at least!
In anticipation of the grim probable future where Twitter maniacally pull out the plug and erase all trace of Vine’s existence from history, we’re salvaging the best ones now. These are the loops, the miniclips and the pieces of art which deserve the internet-equivalent of listed building status, which are culturally significant enough to warrant public funding to house them in a great archive, preserving them for future generations.
Great Vine Opportunity
This Vine encapsulates why the app was great. It wasn’t simply about filming your mates breaking their neck trying to do a backflip or capturing innuendo on the news, the best users had a masterful grasp of the medium and could endlessly subvert it, and Demi Adejuyigbe’s (AKA ‘electrolemon’) seminal ‘when your dad collapses during your 10th birthday party but you get a great vine opportunity out of it’ is the absolute pinnacle of this. It’s a genuinely excellent straight joke, inside an even funnier joke about how users engaged with the app. He’s spotted the opportunity and had the whole other layer to it. And the Vine itself – the timing, the staging the reveal, the cracking voice – is magnificent. Also, how the fuck does he make himself cry? Sheer perfection. Tristan Cross
Crossing A Dog
Just had to Google “do dogs have ankles” just so I could more accurately work out how badly this dude’s crossover on a sandy playground could’ve broken this dog’s ankles. Turns out, yeah, they do have them and they’re kinda back to front. I can only presume that if they were the right was around that dog’s little feet would’ve broken smooth off. He had been summarily exposed - “EXPOSE HIM! EXPOSE HIM! OHHHHHH!” being this generation’s “Some people are on the pitch…” - but it could’ve been so much worse. Sam Diss
Look again: that’s no tiny man in a suit for a TV ad - this is a genuine dog, genuinely filmed by a genuine owner rocking out to Phil Collins. Can the animal air drum of its own accord, you may wonder. Was this the reason Phil Collins was coaxed out of retirement, you've probably mused. Sadly, we’ll never know for sure, but I can tell you without any hesitation, without a single shred of doubt, that this loop is the greatest Vine of all time. Viral brilliance and not a bar of Dairy Milk in sight. Joe Ellison
“Huh, a trolley of squeaky ducks,” thought Kevin Innes. While most of us would have let out one of those ‘Fumph’ exhale noises at the absurdity of the spectacle, Kevin saw an opportunity and took it. More than took it – he nailed it to the wall of the internet hall of fame. With one trolley of squeaky ducks, Kevin Innes made Vine the most important platform of the internet. Vine is dead because there aren’t enough Kevin Innes’ in the world. Dave Cornish
This Vine is stupid as fuck. It’s so dumb. It’s just a really dumb, stupid fucking Vine. It’s also better than anything else that’s been committed to film, photograph, canvas, literature or memory in yours and every other person’s lifetime. Tristan Cross
Preeminent sad dad Mark “Lawro” Lawrenson just wants you to laugh at his jokes, jokes that keep him sane in this world of political correctness and impossibly high quality of football. In his day it was all communal bathtubs and shin-splints and swampy centre-circles. Things changed, he couldn’t changed with it. He is a IBM DiskOnKey USB flash drive in an Apple Lightning world. Let him have the joke, man. But they won’t. They can’t. They never do. (And it’s perfect.) Sam Diss
Much like David Bowie or The Fall, the breadth of the body of the artist raysipe’s work can be daunting to newcomers. It’s impossible to identify a clear point of entry, to understand what the man is trying to achieve from one 6 second burst. I would go so far as to venture the only pure way to immerse yourself in sipe would be to watch all 5,340 of his Vines at once, but alas, the app’s functionality was too limited to allow this, and now look, it’s dead. Instead, you have to spend time going through his various characters to even begin to comprehend what he’s attempting to achieve. Shrek, SpongeBob, Lady Gaga, the Cat in the Hat (and an assortment of newsworthy pop culture figures) might all seemingly just be the exact same character with different facepaint to the casual viewer, but true Sipeheads can identify the subtle nuances of their individual personas, all faces of the same man spanning the whole spectrum of humanity. Who is raysipe? Did he just shoot a whole batch of Vines for one character in one go, or did he laboriously get into costume and then take it all off again whenever inspiration hit? Where does he live? How much does he spend on Shrek merchandise? What does he do for a living? All irrelevant. Just sit back and enjoy the Sipe, baby. Tristan Cross
Back At It Again At Krispy Kreme
We have each asked ourselves the question: if we could backflip, would we backflip all the time? Would we backflip everywhere? Yes. We would. To both. What are the limits to backflips? Let us count the ways: Krispy Kreme fluorescent lights. That’s it. That’s all that can stop The Coolest Skill Ever. Props to the intrepid flipper who went where nobody else dared. We will not forget you. Sam Diss
When vaping was introduced to the world, it seemed like an amazing discovery. Helping people stop smoking? Fantastic stuff. But what we didn’t know was that it would spawn a group of unknowing millennials to blow mammoth fruity fogs at you in the street, blinding you in a seriously uncool cloud. Jaried Friedman sarcastically sums up the craze in one sarcastic syllable here: “WOW”. Jamie Carson
GRINCH. YOGA. What’s inside the Grinch’s mind? What motivates the Grinch to i) hate Christmas, ii) systematically abuse the trusting nature of Whoville citizens, and then iii) get mad into lunchtime yoga classes? Turns out the answer is “AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH-HHHHHHHHHHHHH” and I feel like we could’ve guessed. Sam Diss
Fuck Off, Ali
At first glance, this seems like actually harrowing footage of a man being hit by a bus in front of his horrified, screaming friends. You are confronted with the image of a prostrate man lying in the middle of the road, possibly dead. Your eyes widen, the bottom falls out of your stomach, you go to close the tab because you need a moment to deal with what you’ve just seen. Then, just before it loops, you hear one of them exasperatedly mutter, “Fuck off, Ali.” This man is telling his possibly dead friend to fuck off for possibly dying. He’s telling Ali to fuck off in the way you might tell your pal to fuck off if he was being trivially annoying, like, say, if Ali had knocked a pint over, or got you all chucked out of a club for being too rowdy. He’s telling Ali to fuck off with an irritation that getting hit by buses is something Ali does on the regular. Every damn time they go out, Ali only goes an bloody hit by a bus. Fuck off, Ali, for fuck’s sake. It’s the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. RIP, Ali. RIP, Vine. Tristan Cross