Not all digital stars got their big breaks on Vine, but kindred influencers on YouTube still feel some way about the social media platform’s planned shutter.
During the digital influencers panel at EW’s first-ever PopFest, YouTube stars like Teala Dunn, Sawyer Hartman, Ricky Dillon, and Smosh’s Anthony Padilla spoke out about this week’s big news – Twitter’s decision to discontinue Vine.
Joey Graceffa was blunt, perhaps joking but perhaps not: “Thank God. There’s too many.” But the others lamented the loss of the six-second video service – primarily, it seems, out of sympathy for their cohorts who lost a creative medium.
“I think the platform took the Internet by storm, and yes, it did slowly fall off, but some the funniest videos were on there and it started so many people’s careers,” said Dunn. “Some of the biggest creators out there started out on Vine. I wasn’t a Viner, so I don’t feel anything about it, but that’s sad.”
“I’m sad because the best summer of my life, 2013, I was doing a lot of Vines, so there are so many memories,” added Dillon. “I think it’s sad. I wasn’t a Viner, but it holds so many memories. I downloaded them all this morning.”
Padilla also disagreed with the decision. “It’s the first social media platform that’s ever really just shut down,” he said. “I think it’s sad they just abandoned it.”
But Hartman offered a glimmer of hope. Acknowledging that he wasn’t privy to the behind the scenes finances, Hartman insisted that Vine – or at least it’s spirit – may not be gone for good. “I feel like it’s begging for a redesign… the only reason Instagram worked is we didn’t have a place for our photos except Flickr. The only reason Twitter worked is we didn’t have a place for our thoughts. Vine served the purpose of people with a joke to tell. It was a set-up and a payoff in six seconds. So I think that [idea] will come back – it just might not be called Vine.”
Later in the panel, on the topic of existential Internet scares, Hartman cited Vine once more as a reminder to budding YouTubers to not overstress themselves with too much time spent on any one video: “This time in six months, even the power some of us have built, it can all be gone. And not just because of YouTube. That’s just life. You have to just take it while you can.”
EW PopFest runs through Sunday. For ticketing info and more, head here.