Pittsburgh Vine Stars Opine on the End of a Six-Second Era

With the app’s closure, local Vine stars reflect on their successes and look forward to new opportunities.


They only had six seconds to capture your attention, show off their white Vans, Rickroll an unassuming passerby or perfectly capture some sort of fail — each scenario resulting in a mini-endless loop with the power to transcend the mundane into viral content.

Now that Twitter is shutting down Vine, the 6-second artform is dead — but Vine Stars’ archives of short, punchy videos live on.

On Oct. 27, the creators of the 3-year-old app announced that in the coming months they would discontinue the mobile version but promised to end things “the right way” by keeping online archives available for viewing and downloading.

Simone Shepherd, a Vine Star from Garfield who amassed more than 3.1 million followers, said the end of Vine “was a long time coming.”

“It wasn’t a surprise to … the more popular Viners,” Shepherd says. “It had been like a year [and a half] in the making.”

Jesse Pomerico of Perrysville says he was “crushed” when he heard Vine was shutting down.

“I spent 3.5 years creating nearly 900 videos for an audience [of 66,400 followers] that constantly fueled my creativity with wonderful/inspirational comments,” he reflects.

Rob Johnston of Oakmont created a Vine two weeks ago that featured him in a bathtub full of Vine logos, looping the Beach Boys’ “Wouldn’t It Be Nice?” on repeat, captioned with “Wouldn't it be nice if Vine lived forever… #ripvine.”

Johnston says he’s going to miss Vine’s tight-knit community as well as the app’s one-of-a-kind format.

“It was an incredibly supportive place where I felt comfortable expressing the wacky things that go on in my head,” Johnston says. “I will also miss the platform’s limitations. It made for a very level playing field for creators and forced us all to try to tell a story in 6 seconds.”

​Viner Nick Polowy hopes to be remembered for this Vine of him dressed as Jimmy Fallon’s doppelganger.

The video was looped more than 112,000 times and even earned a retweet by Fallon himself.

“I filmed in my bathroom with a curtain in my Mount Washington apartment,” says Polowy, who is originally from Jamestown, N.Y. but has been a Pittsburgh transplant for about six years.

Polowy says he’ll miss the community Vine created, but he hopes to continue collaborating with the friends he’s made along the way.

In the future, Johnston and Pomerico will move to other platforms but say they'll continue to make viral content for their audiences.

Polowy plans to dig deeper into the stand-up comedy scene in both New York City, where he currently resides, and Pennsylvania, where he frequently visits.

Shepherd has recently filmed a movie, “Major Deals,” and plans to return to her longform roots, including directing and writing films.


Categories: The 412