Twitter is shutting down its video service, Vine.
The social video site was created back in 2012, allowing users to upload six-second videos that loop, GIF-style. The company was snapped up by Twitter within a matter of months for a reported $30 million, going on to become a central part of the social media network’s video platform.
Fast forward several years, though, and Twitter has decided to shut the whole thing down. The move, which Twitter announced in a blog post today, is part of the company’s cost-cutting measures, as it looks to reach profitability. Alongside the closure of Vine, it will lay off 350 employees, which makes up around 9 per cent of its global workforce.
Twitter will discontinue Vine’s app in the coming months, although the website will stay in place so people can watch existing Vines.
“We value you, your Vines, and are going to do this the right way,” read Twitter’s blog post. “You’ll be able to access and download your Vines. We’ll be keeping the website online because we think it’s important to still be able to watch all the incredible Vines that have been made. You will be notified before we make any changes to the app or website.”
Vine quickly built a community, with creators amassing millions of followers with their covers, sketches and other six-second bursts of creativity. But Vine has faced growing rivalry from other platforms. Snapchat has better functionality, as well as longer videos, while Facebook is increasingly placing a focus on its own video service, not to mention Instagram – and of the two main social networks, Facebook isn’t the one having to make efficiency cuts.
The shutting down of Vine is a reminder of how quickly the digital video landscape can change. Just like that, a whole platform that has been the basis of creators and vloggers’ careers has gone. As Andy Richter pointed out on Twitter, comparing it to old-school media: “At least when my shows got cancelled they didn’t cancel television.”
There are, however, a number of Vine stars that have crossed over to other platforms. King Bach (Andrew Bachelor), the site’s most popular Viner, has had roles in TV shows, including The Babysitter and House of Lies. He has since taken to Twitter to say he’ll appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to talk about the site’s closure.
Singer Shawn Mendes signed a record deal with Island Records. Logan Paul (9.4 million followers) is in YouTube Red’s upcoming new young adult thriller, The Thinning, alongside Peyton List. Cameron Dallas (9.6 million) appeared in Fullscreen’s high-school show, The Outfield, and will star in his own Netflix series, which follows Dallas and his close circle of friends and family, as he looks to take his career to the next level.
Established in more traditional media, Brian Koppelman, creator of Showtime’s Billions, also found success through Vine, thanks to a series of screenwriting advice tips in 2013. “The app came at a crucial time in my creative life,” he tweeted. “Watching so many people get inspired by what I was saying…it led to my podcast, in many ways led to the writing of Billions.”
Twitter, meanwhile, will focus on its live-streaming service, Periscope. Indeed, the social network has recently signed a string of deals with partners to provide live-streaming video for different events, subjects and sports, including NFL games on Thursday nights.
And so we bid farewell to Vine with some of our favourite videos in the site’s history:
The sound of a million Vines dying
Elton John falling over
It’s-a me! Donald!
The world’s most musical dog
The Vine that predicted the future
Ed Miliband on Twitter’s decision to close Vine