Mere weeks after its death sentence, it seems the beleaguered video social network Vine may not get the axe after all.
TechCrunch reports that Twitter, Vine’s oft maligned parent company, has received multiple bids for Vine. As Twitter found it, people still loved the platform even if its biggest influencers had long left for greener pastures.
Having fallen far from its novelty and prominence in 2013, a sale would undoubtedly give Vine a second wind. That said, Vine needs much more than a buyout to compete with other video social networks on the market, most notably Instagram, Snap, and YouTube. Here are some of the issues Vine, and whomever claims ownership of the company, will have to resolve if the company is to succeed.
Overhaul (create) insights dashboard for brands
Currently, Vine offers brands little in the way of analytics or insights on the performance of their clips. The company did introduce Loop Count after about a year, but being able to tell how many times a vine was played is a fairly basic feature, almost to the point of being moot, since vines play automatically and creators can abuse this oversight to cheese the count.
If the company hopes to survive then it must beef up its analytics system. Create a dashboard. Offer meaningful, actionable insights based on location, average loops per vine, shares both in and outside of the app, etc. If brands are to seriously pursue Vine as a marketing or engagement channel, they’ll need serious performance analytics tools.
Twitter never properly monetized Vine. It’s a large part of the reason the platform is in the state it’s in. With little (read: zero) monetization options, influencers on Vine left that platform for the more profitable pastures of YouTube. In addition to not closing its doors, Vine needs to incentivize these popular users to come back to its platform, and neither these power users nor freshly minted accounts are interested in making viral hits for free for long.
Advertising and partnerships
At six seconds, vines have always had strong parallels with pre roll video ads. Such ads tend to underperform on platforms like YouTube, where most people can (and do) skip ads after five seconds, but brevity is Vine’s business. Vines are already six seconds, so spinning vines out as micro video ads should be well within the realm of possibility.
Doing so would help the company position itself as both a host and distributor of video ads, but would require a proper dashboard, as mentioned, and solid partnerships with other video platforms like Worldstar Hip-Hop or YouTube.
Diversify the product
Vine has always been a cool and novel product, but it has failed to expand its profile beyond this initial offering, much the same way that Twitter took a long time to part with its 140-character limit.
There are several ways the company can spur creativity on its platform now. Between AR and VR, 360-degree video, and live streaming, the world of video now has several lanes of evolution. Experimenting with either of these video trends would likely elevate Vine to put it more inline with its competitors. Playing around with all of them could even move it beyond them.