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Is Facebook stealing Vine stars’ video views?

Vine stars take issue with Facebook's video structure.


Rae Votta


Posted on Sep 21, 2015   Updated on May 27, 2021, 10:49 pm CDT

Vine’s elite are joining YouTubers in their outcry against Facebook‘s video platform, which makes it easy to steal content without any accountability. 

“It sucks,” Viner Brittany Furlan told the Wall Street Journal. For six-second creators, when their content jumps to Facebook from its native Vine, there’s no recourse to identify and monetize their videos—unlike YouTube, which at least offers them the opportunity to profit off of unprompted sharing.

Last month Hank Green—who runs digital video’s premier conference, VidCon, and is a digital creator himself—took issue with Facebook’s video system with a series of posts on Medium. For YouTube stars, who earn advertising dollars for their video views on YouTube, Facebook reposts are chipping into their pocketbooks directly. The problem is less clear-cut for Vine stars, who don’t earn advertising dollars on the content but receive money from brands that want to tap into their social influence.

“You don’t make money from your content on Vine,” said Arantza Fahnbulleh, a stand-up comedian and Vine creator, told WSJ. “You rely on brand deals. And followers get me brand deals.”

Facebook has used technology to identify video content and credit it to rightful YouTube and content creators, and third-party companies like Collab have helped Vine stars identify their content published on YouTube. But no such solution has come forward for Vine stars and Facebook, a problem Vine’s parent company, Twitter, has yet to address with Facebook, according to WSJ.

While no solution exists, reposting pages like “Top Vines,” which has 20 million Facebook likes, and “Best of Vines,” with 21 million likes, continue to post Vine videos with no recourse. 

“I think for a company like Facebook, this really shouldn’t be an afterthought,” Collab co-founder Tyler McFadden told WSJ. “It should be built into the product from day one. We love that YouTube provides the tools it does. If Facebook did the same, it would be huge for all the Viners involved.”

H/T The Wall Street Journal | Illustration by Fernando Alfonso III

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*First Published: Sep 21, 2015, 5:17 pm CDT