Vine is taking over Hawaii, but don’t call it an invasive species

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hawaii vinesVine – Twitters’ video sharing application – is the latest social media craze in Hawaii.

Those not familiar with the application can imagine what a baby would look like if YouTube and Twitter shacked up.


While Twitter is micro blogging, Vine is Micro Vlogging. People create and share 6-second videos through a mobile phone app and has been growing every since it’s launch.

In January, Mashable reported 90 million users and it is still climbing.  It started making traction in Hawaii last year.  The vine demographic is 18-29 but as it grows so does the user base.

What is most fascinating about Vine is that it’s an insight into people’s lives.  People Vine from their homes, their work, while eating, and traveling.  They share their feelings, favorite music, food, milestone events and so much more.

Users, called “Viners”, have found many creative new ways to share content, from music and art, to stop motion and parodies of popular culture.  It is a creative community mixed with a little friendly competition.Follows, Likes, and Revines are coveted. They tell you how popular your Vine is, and people challenge themselves and each other to create new content that gets the most of the three.

Hawaii Vines is a vine account that supports the entire community of Hawaii Viners.  A group of Viners decided to take on the task of building this community.

“At first we just wanted to share our favorite vines.  But as vine started to grow here, we saw the need to provide education and keep an eye out for our Keiki viners.  We help provide education to schools on how to stay safe on the internet, especially vine.” says a moderator.

The moderators of Hawaii Vines, who choose to remain anonymous for neutrality, go through hundreds of Vines a day to share the best ones.  “There are so many talented people in Hawaii that are putting themselves out there, in some cases for the first time. We especially like to find people who no one knows. It is amazing to revine (share) someone’s video that has no activity, and watch it grow to hundreds of likes and revines within hours. We have watched several Viners grow from a couple of hundred followers to vine famous.” said one Hawaii Vines moderator.  “Some viners have discovered their talent for video editing and have gotten job offers.  Some are using it to start their own businesses for the first time.”

The Hawaii Vines community has grown to more than 100,000 followers on all social media accounts, and currently generates more than 200,000 views daily on Vine, Instagram, and Youtube in less than one year.

Henry Ian Cusick “Our youtube videos, which are compilations of the BEST OF vines, are upwards of 200,000 views!  People from all over the world love to watch viners in Hawaii.”

One of the most sought after titles is “Vine Famous”.  This is where a person who has at least 10,000 followers or “fans”.  These Viners have become local celebrities, even being recognized in public.  Some vines have been noticed by people such as Animal Planet, to Grammy award winning artist Snow to the Dog the Bounty Hunter camp. Lost alumni Henry Ian Cusick came out to show his support for Hawaii Vines who arranged a real live Mermaid encounter for 5 Make-a-Wish Foundation wish recipient children with Mermaid Kariel who is also a Viner.

Some of our local Vine famous celebrities who have gone viral include:

  • Jason Coffee and Kalani Ball Free from the Big Island with over 400,000 followers each.
  • Chad Jaxon Perez who recently won Vine of the Year has over 450k followers
  • TeamHawaii viners such as Shaner, Kili So Silly, Haliana, Matty Wong, Cat Lud, who have 10-50k followers each and growing.
  • Pashyn a newcomer shot up from a couple of thousand to 30k in a record breaking 2 months.


Some of the worlds biggest brands are already leveraging Vine. Target, Beats by Dre, Urban Outfitters, and Wendy’s have used vine to extend their branding efforts to target audiences within the mobile online community. The White House under the Obama administration even utilizes Vine.

Mainland businesses have started working with Viners by sponsoring their vines, providing them with products and watching the magic happen.  A couple of local businesses have started working with Viners.  Easy Music Listening Center sponsored Cat Lud with a Lanikai Brand 6 string Ukulele. And MacMadeEasy sponsored some underwater vines with a Lifeproof case.

What is different about this kind of advertising is its advertising people don’t realize is advertising. Watching someone do something funny with a product is entertainment. While people are closing pop up ads, flipping past magazine ads, skipping video ads, they are sharing them on VINE.

If you want to get started, Hawaii Vines says it is very easy.

“There are three types of Viners. Those who Vine, those who just support Viners and those who do both. To find out which Viner you will be, download the free app to your phone and set up an account.  You can start by watching other vines and showing your support. Once you feel comfortable, and you have a good idea how it works, you can make your first vine. “Be forewarned. It is addicting!”

Hawaii Vines says their motto is Vine with Aloha. “Our rules are simple. Treat people with respect. We don’t allow hate or nastiness. We encourage tolerance, and a positive supportive environment. We consider Vine an art and treat it as such.”

Hawaii Vines offers the following tips:

1. Lighting and video/sound quality is important. We see a lot of really good vines that fail simply because they are too dark or we can’t hear the person or they mumble. Vine in front of a window, and speak loudly and clearly.

2. Vines containing hate, violence or inappropriate content is not shared. Our audience starts at age 9 so be mindful that there are kids who watch your vines.

3. Follow the rules of Vine. Cheating / gaming the system is considered disrespectful to other Viners. Things like trolling, spamming, phishing and other activities meant to harm Viners are not tolerated.

4. Be patient. We do this in our spare time and do our best to be fair and give everyone a chance. Complaining or tagging us too much will not help.

5. Be genuine. Don’t try too hard or do what you think others want you to do. The best Viners are the ones vine themselves as they truly are. Watch other Viners, not all of them are comedians or singers/dancers. Big Cat Derek started Vining from his animal sanctuary. Some Viners got famous from just lip syncing. KalaniBallFree is a one man Harlem Globetrotter. Find something unique that you do and share it.

6. Have fun and show cultural and Hawaii pride. We like videos that show people enjoying the islands, doing positive things and sharing their cultures.

Check out this compilation of the Best of Hawaii Vines to see Hawaii Viners in action.





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