Three Lessons from the Withering of Vine

vine-logoAs you may have seen in our News You Can Use section last week, Twitter has announced it is discontinuing its Vine app "in the coming months."

My first reaction: I can understand why it's going away. Even given our society's eight-second "shorter than a goldfish" attention span, as highlighted in a recent Kia TV commercial, the six-second limit on Vine videos wasted 25 percent of that communication capacity.

My second thought: I'm glad we haven't put much effort into creating a Mayo Clinic channel, although I had experimented a bit personally (including capturing my MoviPrep consumption in advance of the #ScopeScope).

Given that seven of our top ten most-viewed Mayo Clinic YouTube videos of all time are longer than a minute (and #10, with more than 450,000 lifetime views, is more than 16 minutes), the artificial constraint of six seconds didn't seem to fit with communicating health care topics.

That's not to say the closure of Vine is without implications for us, however. Just 22 days before Twitter's announcement, we had released this video for Mayo's orientation sessions new employees:

Beginning at about the 0:12 mark, we say (and illustrate with moving logos)

Some of the most popular social platforms include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram, with new sites launching continuously.

Which is all true. Unfortunately, one of those logos, flashing in at the 0:21 mark, was Vine's.

screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-1-00-44-pmSo in just over three weeks, our brand new training video got a little bit dated.

It's not wrong; new sites are launching continuously.

But some of them are dying too. See, for example, Blab.

What lessons does this story illustrate?

  1. The social media world changes rapidly. We knew that, but it's a helpful reminder. It also highlights a benefit of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network, as the curated News You Can Use feed calls out three top stories a day. You get those in your daily email digest, or you can browse the archives once a week to catch up. We appreciate the news tips you might see: tweet them with the #MCSMN hashtag for consideration for News You Can Use so we can share with network members.
  2. You don't need to be among the first users of a new platform, particularly if the applications aren't obvious. Vine was once a "hot" platform. Our team brainstormed ways we might use it strategically. In the end, we created an account to keep brand-jackers from impersonating Mayo. But we only uploaded three videos. Likewise, we haven't figured out a strategy for Snapchat yet, so we're not forcing the action. Meanwhile, we continue to focus on the basics: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and our owned blogs and communities.
  3. Kinetic Type videos enable easier edits to keep current. Our new video replaces this much longer one from 2013 that introduced our team and Mayo Clinic's Social Media Guidelines to employees. But while most of the original team members featured in the video are still working for Mayo Clinic, only four are still on our team. We've also changed our name from Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media to Mayo Clinic Social Media Network. And one of the guidelines, on endorsements, has been changed to reflect how LinkedIn endorsements have become an important part of professional life. With our new video, swapping images (or re-recording a portion of the audio) won't require wholesale changes in the production. We decided in this case to not make the relatively easy change to remove the Vine logo from our new video. But if something more significant happens in the coming months, we'll include the Vine removal with that edit.

We look forward to continuing to learn together with you through #MCSMN.

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