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Vanillo is an American video sharing website based in Miami, Florida. The site was initially launched in December 2018, but was shortly shut down in May 2019 due to technical issues and disputes between its administrators. The developers of Vanillo then worked on Vlare with Jan not long after Vlare's creation. And on June 3rd 2021, a revival of the site was announced by the @VanilloPR Twitter account. Vanillo on Twitter said: "We're back! :)" / Twitter. However, the Twitter was later changed to protected, making it impossible to see any tweets unless you were an approved follower.

In 2022, the team made the account public again and announced that the site will be revived on December 25th 2022 through a public beta test. But due to IRL circumstances the team announced that the Beta would be delayed to March 2023.

History

The development of the original Vanillo began in 2017 by two high school students named Aaron M and Blake B under the name "Cosmic Media". According to Blake, development was described as difficult and disorganized as maintaining Vanillo wasn't the only problem they dealt with, but also running Cosmic Media as well. But in spite of these issues, Vanillo launched in December 2018 to positive reception with many hoping that it would only improve with the stabilization of the site uploader and the addition of a community feature.

During this time, a YouTuber with 300 thousand subscribers by the name of "Mumkey Jones" was banned from YouTube for breaking the site's community guidelines. Seeking a new home for his videos, associates of Mumkey suggested him to try out Vanillo as a possible alternative. He was hesitant on testing out though as he believed that any site looking challenge YouTube itself was next to impossible, but despite this, Mumkey decided to join Vanillo as his reach to his audience had been hit significantly with the loss of his original YouTube channel. And immediately, he became the site's most popular user.

Throughout Vanillo 1.0's lifetime, the site's issues began to show as Mumkey's fans flooded the site in not only wanting to watch Mumkey's videos, but to also produce content for Vanillo as well. Because of this wave of new users and content being uploaded to the site, Cosmic Media would briefly take Vanillo offline while it purchased new servers to accommodate the recent growth in size. And to also keep server costs down, Vanillo had its video quality only available at 480p Max. Other bugs such as lack of email verification, no search results, and audio issues within the videos themselves were also reported.

In January 2019, Vanillo would suffer a major DDOS attack that caused Cosmic Media to temporarily close it down so that they could move to another Content Delivery Network. But only a month after coming back online, Vanillo's uploader was disabled as the Dev team wanted to implement a new uploader to replace the previous one.

Problems continue to pile on for Vanillo when in March 2019 they were dealt with another DDOS Attack. And even after coming back online, the uploader was once again disabled as issues with their Content Delivery Network (Amazon Web Services) continued to persist throughout March entirely.

When the uploader issue was resolved, Vanillo's parent company Cosmic Media issued a public apology for the site's problems and an explanation for the lack of a uploader. But even with the fixed uploader, the lack of one had hurt the site drastically as content creators such as MumkeyJones had quietly departed Vanillo. Just Jargon continued to upload even though all of his recent uploads up to that point were all reuploads of his pre-existing content on YouTube.

By May 2019, it became clear to the Cosmic Media team that operating Vanillo in its current form at that time would be too costly and stressful to deal with. Reports of internal conflict at Comic Media had also been reported throughout various Discord servers that have been observing Vanillo closely, and on May 7th, the site's PR team announced on it's Twitter page the team's decision to close down the site while also suggesting its followers to join a new site called "Vlare" (which was partly administered and developed by a member of the Vanillo Development Team).

Post-May 2019 Shutdown

After the closedown of the original Vanillo in May 2019, it was assumed by most that Vanillo was gone for good and that it was time for the community to move on. But despite its shutdown, the site's Twitter continued to post and interact with its followers in spite of the site ceasing to exist earlier that month.

In June 2019, the Vanillo Dev Team asked Twitter users in a poll if they wanted to see Vanillo reformed into a site similar to that of Twitter and not focus as much on video sharing as its original incarnation had before, sixty percent of 549 voters voted in favor of the idea. And for a while many assumed that it would head in that direction, but in October 2019, the team announced on Twitter that the site would continue to have video sharing a major part of its core functionality.

In retrospect, the tweet in October 2019 marked the beginning of Vanillo's revival.

Revival

Between October 2019 and most of July 2020, Vanillo's official Twitter account stayed silent as the future of the site continued to remain a question mark. In the meantime, Vanillo's founder Blake B experimented with a Netflix-style streaming site called "Neptune TV". The project wouldn't last long however, and his focus would eventually shift back to Vanillo 2.0 as Vlare began to suffer similar issues to the original Vanillo. In August 2020, Vlare was dropped by its hosting provider Hetzner in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Though many thought it would be a minor issue, Vlare would never be brought back online again.

Vanillo would continue to occasionally post throughout 2020 until they went silent again for 4 months in 2021. In May 2021, a member of the dev team posted a picture of what it appeared to be a Dell server and a screenshot of a possible concept design for a new site. This lead many to believe that a revival of Vanillo was indeed in the works and on June 3, 2021, Vanillo confirmed on Twitter that they intended on returning.

Though updates were scarce at first, screenshots of Vanillo 2.0's development began to be posted by the Development Team to showcase the progress being made on the site. On May 19th, the team announced the intention to relaunch the site via a public beta on Christmas Day 2022. And in June, the team posted a timeline of Vanillo 2.0's development which had taken a whole year up until that point. Four months later, the team posted more screenshots and even a short video clip of the site being used.

As the release deadline drew closer, the team (who were now of college age by this time) realized that they couldn't reach the original date on Christmas Day 2022, and to the dismay those who have been waiting, they announced the intention to delay Vanillo 2.0's release to March 2023 in order to ensure a stable launch.

On March 1, 2023, Vanillo 2.0 officially launched its public beta, thus ending the four year long hiatus of the Vanillo brand.

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