Lets start with a fact:
Vine is awesome. If you didn’t try it yet, it is never too late, do it now.
Now for another fact: Only 63% of the Android users can actually use Vine.
Why? Because as you can see on the Vine Google Play page, this app is limited to Androids running version 4.0 and above.
Google’s official numbers released on August 2013 show that while huge progress was made and 63% of the Android world are already using Android 4.x, 37% of the market is still using old versions, out of which 33% are still on Gingerbread API 10. Will those users ever upgrade? I don’t think so. Even if they knew how (and they don’t), it is not that easy. What is probably going to happen is that these devices will stay there forever, and die really slow. It can take years until they go away, maybe 5 years, maybe 10, but they will probably stay there for a very long time, probably in big numbers.
Now why on earth wouldn’t the Vine team work on an app that can serve the Gingerbread users? Isn’t 33% of the Android market big enough for this? I’m not buying it. Android fragmentation is indeed a huge problem but a third of the market is too big to ignore.
The Verge reported last month that a Windows Phone 8 version of Vine is in the make. This is smart, and of course, any company that has the resources should go to every possible platform.
If I were Vine, I would consider Gingerbread as just another platform. It doesn’t have to be a full app with all the newest features, it can be a limited version, light, mini, whatever you call it. But ignoring it would be a mistake. Of course, testing is a challenge – TestFairy is here for a reason – but running away from this challenge is a mistake. Face it and make a Gingerbread app. It will bring you tons of customers.