Dom Hofmann, one of the co-founders of shortform video platform Vine, has been hard at work on a successor to the now-defunct mobile app he’s simply calling just v2. Since announcing his intentions at the end of November “without a plan” and to “force the issue,” former Vine fans, users, and those who just want to see the app’s more innocent and comedic spirit resurrected have offered feedback and seemingly endless enthusiasm for the project.
Hofmann, whose day job includes running a secretive virtual reality startup called Interspace, seems to be developing v2 on his own time, but that hasn’t stopped him from delivering near-daily updates via Twitter. The creator also opened a community forum for the product in early January, and he’s been posting there frequently since then with planned product features and other announcements related to v2’s development.
According to TechCrunch, Hofmann plans to release the app around summer of this year, but “definitely in 2018,” the creator has said in the v2 forums. Hofmann has also been courting former Vine stars, as well as other social media celebrities and industry managers, to help guide the product’s development and inform aspects like monetization, TechCrunch reports. A number of other details have trickled out. Here’s a running list of what we know so far:
- Recordings on v2 can be no shorter than two seconds but no longer than six and a half
- Video format will be fullscreen instead of square, with a focus on vertical and horizontal video
- The app will include a collaborative “team” feature for posting and collaborating with other artists
- v2 will allow uploads from a smartphone’s camera roll
- Hofmann is planning iOS and Android release
- “No filters, no face filters, no geo filters,” Hofmann tweeted last month
- v2 will support preferred gender pronoun profile preferences as “top level profile feature”
- Users will be able to disable comments on posts
- v2 will have a zero tolerance policy on harassment
- Hofmann still unsure about nudity, erotica, and other NSFW content
There’s still a lot we don’t know about the app, and whether v2 can take off in the much more consolidated social landscape of 2018. The space is increasingly dominated by Facebook, the company’s bitter battle with Snapchat, and the do-it-all messaging apps of Asia, and there’s hardly any breathing room left for new upstarts to try to gain footing.
Many social products of the last couple of years — like the defunct Meerkat, Mastodon, and Houseparty — have either gone under, failed to gain steam, or exist perilously under the looming threat of a giant Silicon Valley corporation waiting to crush it. But Hoffman’s focus on community, inclusiveness, and the creator fiber that made Vine a starting ground for so many social media celebrities of today seems like the right mix of product and cultural DNA to take a solid crack at it. If anything, let’s hope v2 brings back cultural contributions as cherished as this list of best-of loops from Vine’s archives.