Vine rings in its second year by hitting 1.5 billion daily loops

Video app Vine celebrated its second anniversary Saturday, prompting product head Jason Toff to share new metrics. The company is now seeing 1.5 billion loops, or plays, a day of its six second videos. That compares to the “more than one billion” daily it announced in October.

1.5 billion a day is a huge number. Multiply it by 365 days of the year and Vine is seeing more than half a trillion loops yearly.

But it comes with a caveat. Vine videos are set to repeat themselves automatically, so 1.5 billion loops doesn’t represent the amount of individual, unique views by new people. If someone leaves their feed unattended, the views can multiply quickly.

The most recent user number Vine released was 40 million registered users, in August 2013. The company notably left out monthly active users and as far as I can tell it hasn’t released new user metrics since. I’ve reached out to the company to confirm and will update if I hear back. It’s possible that user growth itself has stagnated on the application even as its video plays have grown. Lots of people consume Vines other places than the app, watching them on Facebook, Twitter, or even YouTube.

In terms of viewing, the new stats show Vine has grown from its earlier self as it matured as a video application. It’s a mainstay of entertainment for teenagers, giving them a second screen experience.

Although the company hasn’t introduced advertising, brands pay the top Vine celebrities, the stars with the most followers, to do product placement in their videos or even outright mini commercials. The six second limitation to the video has spurred new, creative forms of expression from stop motion art to its own genre of slapstick comedy.

As I’ve written about, the earliest Vine stars are graduating from the application, starting to land Hollywood TV show parts and record deals, parlaying their teen social media stardom to a broader, more mainstream audience. Vine’s owner Twitter hasn’t entirely managed to keep up. It’s ignored some of its biggest celebrities, perhaps to keep the app focused on average users instead of just highlighting the famous faces. But its better-funded competitors, like Facebook and Instagram, have started wooing the key content creators in Twitter’s absence.

In typical Twitter fashion, the Vine product has managed to grow in spite of its parent company’s potential pitfalls. As it rounds its two year mark, the application and its stars show no sign of slowing.

FBI and Apple investigate nude celebrity photo hack

The FBI is investigating last weekend’s leak of nude photos of several actresses and celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton. The shots appeared on 4chan on Sunday, and it currently looks like the poster purloined them from the victims’ iCloud accounts. Apple also says it is actively investigating the incident. Although some of the shots are apparently fakes, Lawrence’s agent has confirmed that at least some of hers are real. A couple years ago, a Florida man was sentenced to 10 years for hacking nude photos of Scarlett Johansson and others.

Celebrity angels: a fad or the future?

The trend of ‘celebrity angels’ isn’t exactly surprising. But why are we suddenly seeing celebrities become more involved in tech investing? Hunter Walk of YouTube offers three possible explanations, and pulls together choice quotations from top consumer internet moneymen. Curates Videos From Twitter Celebs

Want to know what kind of YouTube videos Paris Hilton is tweeting about, but don’t care about the other four tweets she’s sending out per hour? Then you might be interested in, which uses the Twitter accounts of celebrities to curate your social video feed.

Steve Nash to be an Early-Stage VC

Two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash is preparing himself for a second career in investing, and is currently raising $20 million for a new New York City-based VC firm called Consigliere that will invest in early stage companies in categories including e-commerce and sports.

Top Bottom 5 Celebrity Get-Out-the-Vote Videos

Celebrities — they care about using their power for good. They all want you to vote (for Obama). And they’re making videos about it! Most of them, however, are kind of bad.

Here are the five (plus one) most recent celebrity get-out-the-vote videos we’ve seen, ranked from worst to most worst.

5) Diddy Blog #24 – Sarah Palin Scares Me

In the dark, under the covers, illuminated by a flashlight, it’s…Diddy! The bogeyman is Sarah Palin so you better vote against her, he says. Only with more feeling.

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Karina’s Capsule: Speechless

Over Thanksgiving weekend, Hollywood blogger Nikki Finke exclusively hosted Speechless, a series of short videos starring A-list talent that was produced and conceived by B-list talent and designed to promote United Hollywood‘s position by dramatizing the impact of the writers’ strike on the art form.
“For the first time in the TV and movie industry, high-profile SAG actors are together taking their talents directly and exclusively to the Internet,” the press release boasted (somewhat erroneously — Speechless player Eva Longoria is one of many high-profile SAG actors who has previously taken her talents directly to FunnyorDie, just to name a single example).
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Karina’s Capsule: Jake & Julia

For her day job, sex columnist/Gawker punching bag/celebrity commentator Julia Allison goes on cable news shows and assesses the behavior of people like Britney Spears by offering pithy diagnoses along the lines of, “Who needs a boyfriend when you’ve got the paps?” She — or someone — records those segments by pointing a camera at the television, then uploads the recordings to Vimeo, the video-sharing site founded by Jakob Lodwick, who happens to be Allison’s sometime boyfriend. A few weeks ago, Lodwick and Allison broke up and then got back together — both via blog post. Since their reconciliation, Allison has been using the same Vimeo account to display (generally PG-rated) videos of the couple…being a couple.

I pretty much missed the boat on Allison’s rise to Internet infamy, and I was content with that. But then, last week, I saw this:

Jake & Julia: Monday evening communication breakdown from Julia Allison on Vimeo.
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