Vine doesn’t break down user numbers, much less demographics. And if you visit Vine today, it’s hard to tell what’s changed since it came out in January. The people I follow post a little less, and they’re a little better at it. But otherwise it’s pretty much the same deal.
But if you visit Vinepeek, a site that pulls in random Vines as they’re posted, you’ll find that a lot has changed. It’s completely and utterly dominated by teens — teens at school, teens teasing each other, teens screaming, teens smoking weed, teens teening. It’s horrifying.
FWD’s staff monitored Vinepeek for an accumulated 20 minutes, taking note of the apparent ages of the users. We watched 152 vines, which broke down as follows:
- 103 teens
- 24 non-teens
- 25 unidentifiable ages
In our (admittedly small) sample, teens accounted for over 80% of Vines. Some factors may have skewed our number: time of day (about 4:30 p.m. EST); day of the week (Wednesday); or some hidden quirk in Vinepeek’s mechanics.
But this is most definitely a huge shift from the early days of Vine. The day Vinepeek came out, I described the experience like this:bq. In the span of a few minutes, I saw a poorly attended church concert (above), a dance party from somewhere in East Asia, a jump-edited children’s karate class, and a skit a man created about the terrible feeling of opening a refrigerator, hungry, and finding nothing you want to eat. In another, a father asked his young son what was on his mind. After pausing for a couple seconds the son blurted out, “I love you.” Another user, three videos later, had filmed the toilet while he took a piss.Today, FWD Deputy editor Charlie Warzel counted four instances of teen twerking and three vocalizations of “fuck school.” The teens have seized Vine. It’s like Snapchat in public.
This won’t affect most adult Vine users, who will still only see videos from people they follow. Likewise, the fact that Instagram skews young doesn’t affect my Instagram experience at all. Plus, tech companies covet young people, so this is probably a good thing for Vine.
But it’s jarring nonetheless. If you’ve been wondering what Vine, Twitter’s strange six-second video app, is for, now you know: teens taking videos of themselves between class.