If you heard the Internet somehow collectively scream sometime Thursday afternoon, you’re not losing your mind. That was when Twitter announced that it’s shutting down Vine, an app that let users endlessly loop six seconds of video, sometime “in the coming months,” according to a blog post written by Twitter and the Vine team. The Vine website will still be kept online and videos will still be accessible, at least for now.
Vine was, to say the least, a bizarre place. So, so many Vines were bad, nonsensical and a waste of broadband. But when a Vine video was good, it somehow managed to spin six seconds into an hours-long loop that you couldn’t tear your eyes away from or stop laughing at. It took everyday moments and, through divorcing them of any context, magically created absurdist gold. You didn’t need a production budget or a staff of comedy writers to make a Vine go viral — you just needed a good idea.
In honor of Vine’s passing, we’ve accumulated five of the best Vines that epitomize the uniqueness of the platform, the videos that could have only come from a community that prized creativity above all else. Rest in peace, Vine.
Many Vines were pure observational humor, like someone just happening to notice how petty little kids are during spelling bees. But despite how short they were, they still needed structure – in other words, as in practically every other form of comedy, Vines had to have punchlines.
This "duck army" Vine was one of the most viral pieces of content on the entire platform. (It was so popular that there were even enough remixes to qualify it for an MTV listicle.) You didn't need a personality, or even more than your hand, to make something famous on Vine – though, as on nearly every other form of social media, there were people dubbed "Vine stars." Good riddance to that, at least.
The platform turned peer pressure into a marketing strategy with its slogan "Do It for the Vine." Yet that didn't mean regular Vine creators didn't have a sense of humor about themselves and the ridiculous lengths they would go to for loops.
The best Vines were often silly for seemingly no reason – they just hit some hidden funny bone in your brain. There's nothing really going on in this video, but thanks to the fact that you have no idea why this dog seems to be pensively listening to a harp, the Vine becomes hilarious. And yes, that is "Colors of the Wind" from Pocahontas.
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The best Vines, of course, improved upon repeated viewing. It may take a few loops to even get the joke, but once you do, it only becomes funnier (and sounds more uncanny) the longer it plays.