There is nothing in this world I love more than a good Vine. I have spent countless nights scrolling through the app, tears streaming down my face, cackling and whispering "Vine is the future" softly to myself. My only real problem with Vine is the lingering fear that one day, because of its comparative unpopularity, the app will cease to exist.
I get why it hasn’t quite clicked the way Snapchat or Facebook have. It's a niche, difficult platform to get into and, like Tumblr or SoundCloud, it requires careful curating of your feed. Its celebrities are unfamiliar, and its humor is often conceptual. It needs an entry point.
It sort of has one — it’s just hidden! Today, I will teach you how to juice Vine for all its happiness with a simple trick: go straight to the On the Rise channel in the Explore tab.
Upon entering the Explore tab, you'll be faced with a false dichotomy of choice between 'Popular Now' and 'On the Rise', followed by an even more unnecessary selection of channels categorized by interests. Disregard everything, they are all irrelevant. The only channel that matters here is On the Rise.
Popular Now vs. On the Rise: What's the difference?
Popular Now is a collection of what's popular within Vine the platform. Vine's help page gives a vague description:
"We have a special formula in place to fill Popular Now with a variety of original content created by the community that appeals to a wide audience. Being featured on Popular Now is not dependent on the amount of likes, comments or revines a post receives."
Hm. Okay, fine. Not sure about that special formula that appeals to "a wide audience," because here's an example of the type of Vine you'll see on there:
You'll see a lot of the same "Vine stars" doing relatable "That moment when you" bits that try to appeal to tweens, along with some impressively edited fan videos. For the most part though, Popular Now it's a garbage wasteland.
On the Rise is where all the weirdest, funniest vines truly shine. These are the Vines that take a life of their own and go viral on other platforms like Tumblr and Twitter, finding the internet fame they deserve. A lot of these Vines will also have the 'Fire badge' which means that the Vine is being looped at a high rate. The loop count is fun to watch because it shows how many people are watching the Vine with you in real time.
At this moment in time, these are the Vines that are currently On the Rise:
Timing isn't a factor for a Vine to receive the Fire badge — it doesn't matter how old a Vine is, as long as people keep watching and sharing it. That means this Vine above pops up on On the Rise every Wednesday and I'm honestly here for it every time.
Curiously enough, On the Rise isn't featured on the desktop version of Vine, and it's not mentioned anywhere on the help page. I'm not sure whether that was a conscious decision by Vine to get people to watch Vines on mobile, but by god it works. I like to scroll through the On the Rise channel before I go to sleep, and before I know it, I've been watching six-second clips for an hour.
So that's it! That's my highly subjective tip for enjoying Vine. If you've written off Vine as just another teen-oriented platform, then you are wrong and you can just breakdance right out of my life.