Vine Is Also Work, But You Can Make $1 Million So That’s Okay?

This is what a 2.3 million-view Vine looks like:

To be fair, a lot of those views (which Vine calls “loops”) aren’t from individual viewers; Vine is set to infinitely autoloop videos, and since the videos are only six seconds long, I racked up five loops in the 30 seconds it took me to decide whether I wanted to share this Vine with The Billfold.

Which I did, of course. I mean, come on. Did you see that backflip?

When you watch a popular Vine, the loop counter goes up so fast it often skips over 10 or 20 numbers, reminding you that you are not the only person watching Kitty Cat Car Jump right now. It’s weird to think about sharing this experience with dozens of people who just happen to be watching the same six-second video during the same six seconds you’re watching it.

And this is how you become a Vine star. Tech Insider’s Caroline Moss recently profiled Kitty Cat Car Jump’s creator, Logan Paul, to ask him about Vines, work, and how he is building his career six seconds at a time.

“I want to be the biggest entertainer in the world,” Logan told me earlier this month. “That’s my deal. I’ll do whatever it takes to get that. As many hours as is needed.”

I was not Vine’s earliest adopter, but I started paying attention to Vines relatively soon after Twitter acquired and integrated it in January 2013; at that time, I was mostly disappointed that there wasn’t an Android version (it wouldn’t launch until June 2013), so I couldn’t record myself singing a six-second clip of “standing desk, I have a standing desk” to the tune of Gustav Holst’s Jupiter.

In retrospect it was silly that I only thought Vine would be used for six-second quips. Of course it would be something that people used to tell six-second stories. And the money would follow. As Complex explains:

Brands pay top Viners for shout outs, revines (likeretweeting), and customized videos created for corporate accounts. The deals vary, but Viners can make anywhere between $20,000 to $50,000 per ad campaign, according to Rob Fishman, who co-founded Niche, a company that connects top social media users to brands. The difference between a million followers and two million? A lot, actually. Viners can ask about $5,000 more from brands, Brittany Furlan, a top Viner, recently told the New Yorker.

Or, on Business Insider:

For 16 year-old Lauren Giraldo, $2,000 isn’t hard to come by.

All she has to do is press the re-Vine button to share a sponsor’s video with her followers and an advertiser will cut her a large check.

It’s the same model as, shall we say, “traditional” media: you make the content that attracts the audience, and then you slip in the ads to get the cash.

That’s one of Logan Paul’s sponsored posts, and you can tell because he’s tagged it #SP. Is he happy with his job as full-time freelance Viner? Back to Tech Insider:

Still, while his internet fame keeps growing — making him hundreds of thousands of dollars already — he hasn’t found crossover success beyond a role in “Law & Order” and a few commercials. He hasn’t proved that the silly style that works so well in six-second videos on 4-inch screens can work in any other context, and he hasn’t shown that he knows how to do any other.

He’s working on his next big projects, though:

I learn there are actually two potential MTV shows in the works, according to Logan. There is one about him and Jake, “two kids from Ohio who know how to make videos on the internet and do it because it’s fun and makes us money,” and one Logan tells me is tentatively called “Hollywood and Vine,” about this friend group of Vine stars who all ended up living on Vine Street. Both shows would feature Logan starring as Logan.

(The part about the group of Vine stars living on Vine Street is true, by the way. Logan Paul lives in an apartment building with “six of the top 15 Vine stars in the world.”)

I don’t want to quote the entire Tech Insider piece, but consider it today’s must-read longread if you’re interested in learning how people make money on Vine, and how young Vine superstars are already thinking about building a lifetime career in entertainment. We’ll end on this:

“Google my net worth,” Logan dares me. “It says $1 million.” But he also says he hasn’t reached his personal definition of success: “Having $1 million all at once” after expenses and taxes.

It wouldn’t surprise me if he got there.

Photo credit: Jason Howie

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