Peter Heacock, who joined Vine in 2013 and started a group called Unpopular Now, shares why he loved the mobile app .
Image: photo courtesy of peter heacock
I first opened Vine in January 2013 and was transfixed.
The Popular Now page was awash with interesting experimentations in animation, art and storytelling. At the time I was a filmmaker who was trying and failing to get my work considered on the internet. I wanted to go viral. 6 seconds? No problem Ive get this.
I began to experiment.
About two weeks in, I was commuting to run and posted this. It reached the top of the platform in two hours. I checked every 15 minutes to make sure it was still there. Get insured. Get noticed. Interacting with people whom I had never fulfilled. Shouting out into the void I AM HERE and for the first time, people hearing the shout.
Baby had gone viral. I had taken my first step into a world that would change my life forever.
Vine is a beautiful piece of design. Push to record. Remove thumb from screen to stop. Fill up 6.5 seconds, title and post the loop. With simple tools come the tricks: Tap the screen precisely for single frame animation. Shoot reverse shot for dialogues and comedic scenes. The seamless loop( corypoppins ).
And the mother of them all Assistive Touch( Shout out to KeelayJams) where you could set a timer, walk in front of the camera and record yourself.
And jailbreaking phones to hack the program( Lunar Mayor ).
Or standing in the cold to tap a screen at precise increments( GooRee ).
Then came vinemagic and the #88C crew who summoned early George Mileau with trick edits.
Meanwhile competition on the Popular Now page was get heated, and props and production value was ramping up. Comedy was explosion like lemons from a gaping mouth. Collaboration became key. The Folks in New York and LA were actually getting together to build vines. The digital was become organic. We were becoming friends! Social Media actually became social.
Some really funny Vines were made.
Some truly random Vines as well.
I met so many people in those early days largely on Facebook actually. I had a young son at the time, and my periods soothing him in the middle of the night were illuminated by the light of my phone and nelw friends. It was like being back at movie school. Everyone was friendly, interesting and inspired.
I had an idea: Why not get together under one flag? We could call it Unpopular Now.” For two weeks, we posted in secret. We unveiled the site on June 13, 2013. unPOP generated challenges #unPOPmashup, #unPOPidol, #unPOPremake. People contributed, more friends were built, more talent discovered. The community grew.
Twitter reached out to see if we were interested in working with brands. I could make money from this little app? Are you kidding? I need insurance? Ill get it. Need to be incorporated? Done. Within four months, I had quit my job and was a full-time Viner. Three years later we look like this.
I taught myself how be a stop motion animator. I asked my Vine friends about rigs and motion and tricks. We were getting better.
Others were get downright famous. Marcus Johns staged the first #VineMeetup and was greeted by hundreds.
Jerome and Nash went to Iceland and were nearly trampled.
I attained so many that Im proud of. Here are a few 😛 TAGEND
It was all occur. The selfie camera was turned on and Android users were introduced, and the boy brands began to take over. Magcon held events and jumped around onstage to adoring 11 -year old-girls. People humped furniture to R& B songs.
We were getting better at art and narrative and slapstick and PR and personal branding. I constructed Vines with a gorilla and my son was not scared.
I got my first big check, and I finally realise I could make a living doing this. People were watching my work. My friends and I had an audience.
Sometimes there would be pauses and rumblings of Vine being dead, but then it would come roaring back with the vibrant LNPP community posting amazing challenges until early in the morning. AllNaturalVines kept the old-school spirit of Vine alive much past the advent of the upload. Tony Besides fabricated the daily fiction vlog. The seamless loop by Corey. The loveable, creepy Jess. The forever viral meme queens of Anne and Alicia. The artestry of Origiful. Forever Funny Dads. Simply Sylvio. Justin Terio. The Lopriores. The consistently killer content of Jerome, Rudy, Nick, Marcus. The music of Trench, Leslie, Linda. The community of unPOP grew and the app was more vibrant than ever.
And then something happened. Everyone got really good at content. Other platforms wanted that content. Snapchat unveiled Tale. Insta introd video. YouTube became crazy profitable and some inventors began to see if they could make longer content elsewhere. And heres where it gets tricky.
Vine had the community, but it didnt have the dexterity to change. Rather than work on Vine messages, they could have developed a version of Snapchats story. They would have sparked more content for their app by placing vines together in a continuous piece. The listings was a terrible design for an app that had prided itself on flawless design. Owned by Twitter, it progressed like Twitter As in, didnt progress at all.
Perhaps the biggest single killer of Vine was taking out the competitor. If you had the best Vine in the world, you had the number 1 spot on the app. When they randomized the Popular Now page, this killed the competitive spirit. When they created channels, they only pushed the same creators over and over. They fell the ball on the finding good material and pushing it. Its not anyone on the staff to blame, their hands were tied with limited employees and an app that was yielding zero fund for a company with disappointing stock prices. The big celebrities moved to Snap, YouTube and Facebook en masse. They went to where the eyeballs were. People still posted to Vine, but it wasnt vibrant. Longer videos on Vine was unveiled too late despite the brilliant #CampUnplug. Integration to Twitter was clunky at best.
Twitter is great a few things but terrible at accommodating. In the word of social adaptation is everything. And so with a heavy heart I read that my favorite app ever will be killed.
I screamed. I did. I screamed “re going through” my feed and all of the videos that I admired. All of the experiences came inundating back. The memories. The community. Twitter burned down our house. We all get out just fine, but we lost our photo albums, our notebooks, our computers with years of work. Its lost in the ashes of Vine.
I cant understand how they couldnt fulcrum. To incorporate Vine into Twitter. To reinvent Vine, an app that still resides in so many phones. It seems to be about the money. And sometimes a match must be lit to save a larger company.
But heres the important point: we escaped the building intact and alive with memories and experience. When we look around, we are not Vine friends , now we are just friends. And that is the legacy of this little app. The genuine love for each other. We experienced three years of magic and sorrow. The occur of Nick Spears.
and Emma Greer.
So many friends, fans, some weddings and a Megalis baby on the way. It was a life we stimulated six seconds at a time. And that life and those relationships will exist forever.
unPOP will continue to make remarkable content for international brands. The competitor of Vine has taught me to make better commercials than a traditional commercial director. I know why people like and share content. Short commercials are the future, and I will continue to make a living making ads more entertaining.
But heres the real point: Social media is bullsh* t. It does not replace communities. It allows for us to interact within comfortable bubbles. It provides the illusion of intimacy and cooperation, but largely its a dumping ground for passive aggressive political views, advocacy and pseudo-knowledge that limits an understanding and respect of our common man and variation in beliefs.
Vine was different. We did it for the Vine because it was fun, creative and hemorrhaged out into the actual world. A world where we embraced our neighbors and our differences. We created magical with our hands and intellects and created real relationships through our actions. Vine is real. That is its legacy. I will miss the virtual community we construct but will continue to treasure the actual community we currently reside within.
I love you all. Continue to attain. Continue to breathe ingenuity into the void. I am endlessly excited to see what we generate. Make is what we do. #unPOP Forever. Viner Forever. Vine is dead. We are not.
Peter Heacock is founder and creative director of Unpopular Now, a branded content studio and production company that specializes in inducing stop-motion art. He joined Vine in January 2013 and formed unPOP a year later to help companies, including Armani, Budweiser, Target and Lancome, make creative content. You can follow him on Twitter @peteheacock and consider his work at www.unpopnow.com .
The move comes as the social network cracks down on hate speech on the site with new tools and features
Twitter has suspended the accounts of a number of American alt-right activists hours after announcing a renewed pushing to crack down on loathe speech.
Among the accounts removed were those of the self-described white-nationalist National Policy Institute, its publication, Radix, and its head Richard Spencer, as well as other prominent alt-right figures including Pax Dickinson and Paul Town.
Spencer, who according to anti-hate group SPLC calls for peaceful ethnic cleansing to halt the deconstruction of European culture, decried the bans as corporate Stalinism to right-wing news outlet Daily Caller.
Twitter is trying to airbrush the alt right out of existence, Spencer said. Theyre clearly afraid. They will fail! Members of the Reddit forum r/ altright “ve called the” move a purge.
Spencers ban is particularly notable, since he previously had a verified account on Twitter – the badge the company gives to noteworthy accounts to prove they are who they say they are. In the past, Twitter has stripped accounts of their verified status in the wake of abuse, as the company did with an editor at far-right news outlet Breitbartthis year, but the company does not appear to have previously acted so conclusively against an account it had once devoted what could be interpreted as a badge of approval.
A Twitter spokesman said the Twitter Rules prohibit violent threats, harassment, hateful conduct, and multiple account abuse, and we will take action on accounts infringing those policies.
The move came the same day that Twitter announced a new move against loathe speech and harassment on the site. The company announced new features intended to allow users to control what content appears in their notifications, but it also confirmed a change to its develop process for moderators on the site, and a new set of tools for reporting loathe speech.
Those changes were welcomed by users, but also seen as too little, too late. As with Facebooks clampdown on fake news on its social network, users construed the social network as ultimately realising that its platform was facilitating and emboldening the far right, but merely during the course of its week after the far-rights candidate of choice had won the US presidential election.
For former Twitter users, both those cast off the site due to their extreme positions, or those discontinuing Twitter in protest, a new social network is hoping to hoover them up instead. Gab advertises itself with the slogan Free speech for everyone, and features a green frog as its logo. Webcomic character Pepe the Frog was added to an online abhor symbol database in September owing to the figures co-option as an alt-right icon.
In a statement, Gab said: We are a free-speech website and nothing more. Gab is open to all users, regardless of their political beliefs, ideology and moral positions. Our mission is to set people first and to foster discourse without hindrance and proscription, as is occurring throughout the online community.
We use a frog, because it has long been a symbol of fertility, creation, going back to the ancients. Its seen as a emblem of prosperity.
So far, though, the service has just 12,000 users, stimulating it small in comparison to other far-right meeting place such as Stormfront.
Read more: www.theguardian.com