Vine Died from Feb 28, 2017
Stefanie Duguay’s 2016 article “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Queer Visibility Through Selfies” is already outdated. This is because Vine died in January 2017. Its website is now just an archive of quotidian 6-second videos and we are left with Vine Camera. This Twitter feature allows users to make “6.5 second looping videos (Vines)” but does not have “login or community features” like the original app (“FAQs” np). In many ways, Vine’s recent death complicates Duguay’s ‘cross-platform comparison’ analysis. However, I am interested in this platform’s death in relation to queer theory and experience.
Figure 1: Thomas Sanders’s ‘Queer Vines’ Compilation (Youtube).
Figure 2: Thomas Sanders’s “Narrating People’s Lives” or “Story Time” Compilation (Youtube).
Unlike many other platforms, Vine was filled with non-mainstream jokes, memes, and Thomas Sanders’s impromptu “Narrating People’s Lives” (Figure 2). Whereas, Instagram continues to be “congruent with the dominant discourses” of normative art, beautify, and commodification (7). Yet, it was Vine that died. For me, its death draws connections to and prompts questions related to queer death and the hegemony of normality:
- Of the two, why did the platform which emphasised “a variety of discourses” die? (Duguay 10)
- What constraints, competition, etc. limited Vine and its users? Are there direct ties to regulatory norms and expectations?
- Whether it be functionality, popularity, or due to capital, how does the dismantling of platforms limit online space for queer visibility and/or counterpublics?
- What lines of similarity can we draw between queer death, queer failure (Halberstam), and the death of an arguably queer platform? Are there other examples of this on or off social media?
Duguay, Stefanie. “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Queer Visibility Through Selfies: Comparing Platform Mediators Across Ruby Rose’s Instagram and Vine Presence.”Social Media Society 2.2 (2016): 205630511664197. Sage Journals. Web. 19 Feb. 2017.
“FAQs about Vine” Twitter Help Center. Twitter. n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2017.