Vine, the mobile app that allowed users to share six second long looping videos, has announced by way of a blog post that it will no longer continue. Acquired by social media giant Twitter about four years ago, Vine went on to become a very popular application. Due to its popularity, any six second video is now automatically called a Vine. Other apps even copied the format, with Snapchat and Instagram also incorporating microvideos in their respective platforms.
To be crystal clear about it, even though the Vine mobile app is discontinued, users who are not ready to move on just yet will still be able to enjoy access and even download Vines on the service’s official website. The big difference now is that people will not be able to upload any new Vines from now on.
Twitter’s gamble paid off back in 2012 when it completed its acquisition of Vine (then just a startup company) for a considerable sum of $30 million. Back then, the mobile app had not yet even launched, but it would do so half a year later. But since the release of the app, it quickly took off with mobile users, especially those who can not quite get enough of shooting six second videos. The app then contributed immensely in establishing a new breed of Internet celebrities, whose short short videos got shared and reshared as endlessly as they looped in the world wide web.
The news of the discontinuation of the Vine mobile app comes immediately after Twitter released its quarterly report for the third quarter of this year. Despite posting impressive profit figures for Q3 2016, the social media company was in the midst of a restructuring in which it had to lay off 9 percent of its staff, basically leaving about 350 of its people now unemployed.
For the most part, 2016 was a controversial one for Twitter. Apart from dealing with departing executives, the company had to endure scrutiny over issues related to online bullying. For instance, Leslie Jones of Saturday Night Live fame grabbed some headlines of her experience of being harassed on Twitter, to the point of quitting the social media platform for a time. To effect some damage control, Twitter banned those who bullied Jones, and then incorporated quality filters and a safety council. But many believe that the damage has been done.
As it tries to regain its focus now, Twitter must have decided that there was no place for Vine in it. Sure, it is purely a business decision on Twitter’s part, but for all the Vine users out there, it feels like an entire community has been displaced.