Twitter Cancels Vine: Video Streaming App Wars

Vine (the infamous video sharing app acquired by Twitter in 2012) is the most recent victim of app acquisition purgatory.  The leader in short form video sharing has seen almost 10% employee layoffs, including Rus Yusupov the last of the three company founders.  Just months before Colin Kroll, Dom Hoffman and Yusupov went public with the company, Twitter snatched them up for a cool $30 Million in order to boost it’s app portfolio and brand influencer marketing toolbox.  Vine has over 200 Million active mobile and web users monthly.  Although leading the entertainment app market in 2015, things haven’t been the same since the video streaming market has opened up with more intuitive apps that are integrated within the top tier social media giants (Youtube, Snapchat & Instagram).

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Why is Twitter shutting down Vine so rapidly without a formal gameplan?  It seems Twitter’s top brass has cannibalized it’s own video app by their investment into live streaming apps such as Periscope.  Moving into what is now currently the “in” thing to do, Live Streaming has taken over short form video.  The Twitter notification button has been officially launched for live streaming, and Twitter says it has no plans on shutting down Vine’s current website gallery so all of the 6-second looping video content will be archived and available for it’s audience.  So what will happen to the app as a whole?  Vine-heads shouldn’t fear it’s demise totally.  There are several companies interested in purchasing the app from Twitter.

This brings us to the question about how Brands are utilizing Social Media and “Influencer Marketing” in general.  As we see the shift into Video, Short Form Video Apps and now Live Streaming, how are the Big Brands adjusting to the change?  From our perspective (SwitchFlip Media), if small businesses are willing to embrace the influencer marketing format of video, they have plenty of ways to scale their ROI with Youtube.  If you are a startup or small business, it’s most important to identify cost-effective methods of branding and advertising.  You don’t have to have a large corporate co-sign or high cost marketing campaign to partner with social influencers. Mid-Level Influencers is an untapped market that should be a key ingredient in small business marketing.  This example below is proof of Youtube’s power as a tool for influencer marketing.

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Try The World is an online product & service business that helps consumers “discover the world through food”.  They sell a monthly service/product of food subscription boxes.  To raise awareness at the top-tier level, they decided not to try and scrounge up excessive amounts of marketing dollars for a celebrity endorsement.  Instead, they looked at mid-level influencers on YouTube.  Collaborating with YouTuber sensation Missy Lanning, they were looking to reach her 400,000+ subscribers with their Taste Test Challenge video.

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The results of the Taste Test Challenge Video proved more successful than they ever imagined.  Their reach via Missy’s YouTube page managed to reach more than 670,000 views (a 60% engagement increase above Missy’s 400K subscribers)!  This high level of brand awareness could not have been matched by a celebrity endorsement if their marketing budget was even 20x what they spent on the video and Missy’s influencer following. They used a 30% discount promotional code “missylanning30” to track the campaign’s effort. The bottom line is a small business can launch an effective influencer marketing campaign without exceeding a marketing budget outside of it’s means by partnering with mid-level social media influencers.  You Tube Video is apparently still leading the way to go in video promotional marketing!

-Damon R. Howard

SwitchFlip Media

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