By Angela Vega
On Thursday, October 27, Twitter announced the end of Vine, the iconic six-second video app, commencing countless Twitter threads of best vines and compilation videos memorializing the mirthful few seconds the app had to offer.
Launched in 2013, Vine was an iconic platform that allotted users a mere six-seconds to create an endlessly looping video. However, the reactions for the app were rocky from the start.
People felt that six-seconds was not enough time to showcase even mundane activities, besides slipping on socks early in the morning or locking your front door before rushing to your car, let alone meaningful videos.
But to creators of color, the app was a new opportunity. According to a Pew Research Center survey, unsurprisingly, 31 percent of teens who used the app were Black and 24 percent were Latino. Most of Vine’s iconic compositions were videos depicting the black and brown experience, and it quickly became a platform for young creators of color to express themselves and showcase their creativity, from videos of new dances to local rap hits.
The app was odd, arbitrary, and fresh. Within the time limit, the app forced people to think outside of the box, and its constraints provided inspiration.
Simply put, it was refreshing and fun. It introduced our society, so used to refined and polished creativity, to an open-minded option for absurd and unique compositions, many of which were a result of creative minority minds.
With this platform, minority youth, specifically black youth, quickly became the leaders of pop culture.
“At a time when barriers to entry in Hollywood and formal creative industries continue to be almost insurmountable for black media-makers, the ability to simply record a video with one’s phone and share it widely presents a more widely accessible opportunity for creative ingenuity,” journalist Hannah Giorgis said in the Guardian.
Vine provided an intricate, fresh, multifaceted platform for commentary on everyday social and political issues. When the media turned a blind eye to political protests across the nation, documentation of the very real and sometimes shocking experiences of protestors and people of color still surfaced through Vine.
Vine delivered a stage that allowed users to find solace and a sense of community.
Users of color no longer had to worry about fitting under a set of standards and instead were free to make videos more culturally specific to their own experiences.
Amongst all of the new social medias and advancements the last five years offered to pop culture, Vine gave black and minority youth a voice. Through Vine, we shared jokes and created a community that celebrated some of our most marginalized youth, and we are sad to see it go.