I asked who the opener was for Taylor Swift this summer and my cousin replied, “Oh, he’s from Vine!”
Remember back in the day when it was such a big deal to get your name or picture in the town’s newspaper? It was as if you were a local celebrity, attaining your “15 minutes of fame”. But it took a lot of effort to achieve such an honor; such as winning the town fair’s limbo contest, getting high honors at school, or leading your team to victory in the local football championship. Today, all you have to do is post a 6-second clip on social media, and you can become an instant celebrity. And not just a local celebrity – the ease and spreadability of social media now allows everyday people to become worldwide sensations.
Twitter’s video sharing app Vine launched in January 2013. It is similar to Twitter in that your feed consists of posts by accounts you follow, but instead of written posts or images they are 6-second videos. Just like on Twitter, you have a choice of commands – you can “like” a video, “re-vine” (same as “re-tweet”) a video, or comment on a video. In the top right corner each video has the number of “loops” it has attained, meaning number of users/times it has been watched that indicates how popular it is. Most of the videos on Vine are created by everyday people with their mobile devices. You can come across singing, dancing, pranks, jokes, and the like.
You would think that it is impossible to get attention, never less prove your talent, in just 6 seconds, but so many Vine users already have. As an article in Independent states, “with more than 40 million users, Vine and its stars are redefining what it means to be famous in the 21st century.” To think that an average person just like you and me can make a quick little video, post it on social media, and change his or her life in an instant. With the speed, brevity, and international reach of social media today, fame happens a lot faster than say discovering a pop star on YouTube like Justin Beiber.
Take for example, Jerome Jarre. The 24-year-old from France now has 8 million followers on Vine, and every typical young adult today would recognize his face. A New York Times article mentions that right before Vine was launched, Jerome was essentially homeless and seeking work in New York City. He said he downloaded Vine on a whim and started posting videos. He noticed that as his vines got wittier, his posts got more likes. Finally one of Jerome’s vines – “why is everybody afraid of love?” – went viral and his life would never be the same.
The same article in Independent talks about how Jerome and fellow Vine celebrity, Nash Grier (age 16), went to a shopping center in Reykjavik to meet some fans. Neither of them was expecting a large turn out, so you can imagine that when 5,000 fans showed up they were quite overwhelmed!
If the fans weren’t enough, Vine celebrities are making a living off of it! Business Insider says that Lauren Giraldo – know as “Princess Lauren” on Vine – makes about $2,000 per sponsored post, at only age 16! Princess Lauren only started posting on Vine for fun. She loves musical theatre, and spontaneous witty expression comes naturally to her. The young teen had no idea she could actually make a career of this! But with 2.4 million followers worldwide, brands are wise to use popular viners like Lauren to promote their products.
Props must be given to these famous young Viners. Making such a lasting impression with only 6-seconds to work with is pretty impressive! Social media is changing the future of fame as we know it.
Feature image courtesy of Twitter (Vine press room).