WORLDWIDE FAME: Jerome Jarre, left, and Nash Grier, right, are two of the world’s most popular Viners.
WORLDWIDE FAME: Jerome Jarre, left, and Nash Grier, right, are two of the world’s most popular Viners. Twitter And Instagram

Vine celebs might be torture for Kardashian-haters

IF YOU have never come to terms with the Kardashians, you might struggle with the concept of a Vine celebrity.

But Twitter's video app, which has just celebrated its first birthday, is launching dozens of young "Viners" into fame and fortune.

Vine's brevity is its USP (videos made and broadcast through the app can be no longer than six seconds and consist of six frames) and Viners have used mobiles to capture snapshots of everything from the Boston bombings to stop-motion film, porn to pranks. But the app's staple is a witty skit that tells a story in a heartbeat.

With more than 40 million users, Vine and its stars are redefining what it means to be famous.

In January, two of the world's most popular Viners, Jerome Jarre, 23, and Nash Grier, 16, visited a shopping centre near Reykjavik to meet fans on the north European leg of Grier's international tour (yes, Viners have international tours).

It was a casual affair, organised via social media.

"Someone could have died," Jarre tells me when I speak to him. A total of 5000 fans turned up, and, desperate to get close to the pair, ran riot. Once things had finally calmed down, the Viners had to pick up the bill.

Jarre had wanted to do a free meet-up, so decided against booking a venue and hiring security, but he tells me the Reykjavik gig will be the last of its kind.

It was "too dangerous" to do again, he says.

Jarre left home, a small Alpine town in France, at 19, dropping out of business school to try to find fortune in China.

Failing, he moved to Toronto and finally New York, where he launched his Vine career and a talent agency called GrapeStory, with social-media expert Gary Vaynerchuk.

They manage the contracts of most of the world's top 20 most-followed Viners.

He's vague about how much he's made so far: "We're not talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars but it's enough to live. I am making a living out of Vine. So do 20 other people."

While Vine and its select set of superstars have different goals - some want fame, some fortune, some a creative outlet, some the freedom to experiment - they are all using their internet stardom to launch themselves, and, in this sense, they are all products of the 21st century.

There's one other unifying characteristic of Vine's elite community, and it's that they have foresight but no fixed future. These internet-forged stars are dynamic early adopters, willing to make and take opportunities wherever and whenever they can.