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.

Could MySpace make a mini comeback?

Today the question heard around the (tech) world: MySpace is still a thing?

The Wall Street Journal reported that MySpace’s user numbers are actually growing, years after it became the overlooked stepsister of the social media world. The site saw 575 percent growth in unique users in the last year. Of course, 525 percent of 0 is still 0, so to prove its thesis the WSJ cited a surprising statistic: MySpace still has 50 million monthly active users.

A #tbt shot from my MySpace

A #tbt shot from my MySpace

It looks like MySpace is making a mini comeback … kind of. There’s one caveat to the user data: A big chunk of the company’s monthly actives come on Thursdays due to the popularity of Throwback Thursday, the social media phenomenon where people post old pictures of themselves under the hashtag #tbt. Former Myspace fans crack open their childhood digital vault to find the goods. Members of the tech media probably did the same today after seeing the WSJ story. Proud to say I remembered my high school email ([email protected]….don’t ask) and password in one go.

#TBT to what MySpace looked like in 2006.

#TBT to what MySpace looked like in 2006.

MySpace’s resurgence can’t be entirely chalked up to the #tbt craze. Tim Vanderhook, the CEO of MySpace parent company Viant Inc., said that young people in the 17 to 25 age demographic are using it regularly. They watch enough videos on the site to make MySpace the 16th most popular online video provider according to Comscore. The social site started as a place for music and entertainment creators and fans to connect, so that still represents the bulk of the activity.

MySpace's new site focuses on delivering video and music.

MySpace’s new site focuses on delivering video and music.

Given that MySpace was once the queen bee of social, the company still has 1 billion users registered across the world, information that advertisers want to get their hands on. The company has partnered with undisclosed “online media companies” and advertisers to do some type of cross referencing of user information, to see whether online ads actually convert to sales.

It’s unlikely the company will ever near the heights of its former glory, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t reestablish itself as a tool for a particular sect of music-loving youth. From the sounds of it, Viant Inc. is eking every potential drop of profit it can. The believed-to-be-defunct service lives on; perhaps a shadow of its former self, but still very much alive.

MySpace Tom, who left the company long ago under NewsCorp’s failed reign, now spends his days traveling the world instagramming beautiful, albeit seemingly photoshopped, shots of cultural and natural landmarks. I’ve reached out to him to hear his thoughts on MySpace’s small resurgence, and I’ll update this if I hear back.

iPhone More Important Invention Than Flush Toilets?

Is the iPhone a more important invention than the humble water closet? As one who has lived for extended periods of time in houses and cottages without indoor plumbing, I would say not, but according to your typical British consumer, it is.