Canadian video artists lament Vine demise

Canadian video artists who used the social media sensation Vine to reach new audiences and achieve internet fame are sorry to see the service's shutdown.

Good time while it lasted: 'six-and-a-half seconds,' jibes comedian

Stratford, Ont. comedian Stewart Reynolds, a.k.a. "Brittlestar," says publishing short videos on Vine changed his family's life "tremendously." (Brittlestar/YouTube)

When comedian Stewart Reynolds heard that Twitter was pulling the plug on Vine, he thought it best to give the video platform, which hosts short six-second looping clips, a suitable moment of silence.
"It was only six-and-a-half seconds," the Stratford, Ont.-based family man jokes. "It's done now."

Reynolds, known on Vine as "Brittlestar," spent plenty of time playing around with the video tool over the past few years, amassing over a million followers along the way. He now makes a living off of brand sponsorships while producing videos starring his cast with family members.
"Vine changed my life and my family's life tremendously," Reynolds says. "We've been able to experience and do things that we would never have been able to without it."

Admittedly, he heard the death-knell of Vine coming months ago. Its popularity seemed to be on a downward spiral ever since Twitter acquired the technology company in 2013 and became dissatisfied with its growth.

Some of Vine's most loyal creators shifted their attention to other platforms, including Facebook and Instagram.

But Reynolds still can't help but feel a sense of loss for himself and many other Canadian entertainers who used Vine to share jokes, poke fun at celebrity, and perform covers of  pop songs.

Singers launched

Singer Shawn Mendes used Vine while living in Pickering, Ont., playing covers of songs by Justin Bieber and other pop artists. Over time he became one of Vine's most popular users, which helped him launch a chart-topping music career.

Edmonton-raised songstress Ruth B says Vine helped get the attention of the music industry while she was living outside the entertainment hubs of North America.

Her ballad "Lost Boy" came to life through the platform nearly two years ago when she posted a sample lyric on Vine. Fan reaction built as she continued to upload morsels of the track and built her breakout debut single set in the world of Peter Pan. She's now working on a full album.

"Especially if you're from Alberta, it's not as easy to get your voice out there," she said.

"Vine made it really accessible for people like me who just had the passion."

But like many of Vine's most successful users, Ruth B doesn't post as much as she used to. Her last Vine went out in mid-September.

Mendes appears to have surrendered control of his account to his record label, which shares promotional samples of his music rather than the personalized videos he mostly stopped posting last fall.

Others like Toronto-born comedian Andrew Bachelor, better known as Vine star King Bach – who sometimes pushes the boundaries of conventional social graces – used their popularity to jump into other media.

Last week, Bachelor was pegged to "B Team," a potential series that's in development at Fox. And U.S. performer Cameron Dallas will launch a Netflix reality show on his Internet fame in December.

Reynolds is now spending most of his time on Facebook videos, which he says are popular with his older demographic of fans.

He still thinks he'll miss Vine.

"It was a great platform and I think it was undervalued."