Twitter is shutting down video-sharing service Vine “in the coming months,” the company announced Thursday. Vine, which lets you share short video clips, debuted in 2013. Twitter acquired Vine in 2012 before the service had even launched.
The news comes the same day Twitter announced it would lay off more than 300 workers, or 9% of the company’s global workforce, within the company’s sales, partnerships, and marketing teams.
“Nothing is happening to the apps, website or your Vines today,” Twitter said in a release, adding that users will be given a heads-up and be able to download their Vines before the app shutters for good.
Twitter will be keeping Vine’s website up indefinitely. “We think it’s important to still be able to watch all the incredible Vines that have been made,” the company said.
“Don’t sell your company!” Vine cofounder Rus Yusupov, who was laid off from Twitter in October 2015, wrote in a tweet.
Vine has struggled to retain its top creators. By July, over half of Vine’s top 9,725 accounts had either deleted their profiles or stopped posting to the platform since the start of 2016, according to research by Makerly. This data corroborated an earlier report in The Wall Street Journal that Vine’s stars were leaving for competitors like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. One, Cameron Dallas, even snagged his own Netflix show.
At the time of the report, Twitter told The Washington Post that Vine was still “an important part of our strategy.”
While Vine was a pioneer in short-form video, and popularised the 6-second loop, it failed to innovate on top of this core offering and protect itself from rivals.
Vine’s shutdown comes at a time of unrest for Twitter, with stagnant user growth and swirling rumours of a sale.
Companies that have reportedly taken a look at snapping up Twitter in recent weeks included Disney, SoftBank, Google, and Salesforce. There are reasons some suitors are wary. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said he walked away from a deal owing to Twitter’s price, work culture, and the amount of abuse on the site.
Here is the full statement from Twitter:
Important News about Vine
Since 2013, millions of people have turned to Vine to laugh at loops and see creativity unfold. Today, we are sharing the news that in the coming months we’ll be discontinuing the mobile app.
Nothing is happening to the apps, website or your Vines today. We value you, your Vines, and are going to do this the right way. 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.
Thank you. Thank you. To all the creators out there — thank you for taking a chance on this app back in the day. To the many team members over the years who made this what it was — thank you for your contributions. And of course, thank you to all of those who came to watch and laugh every day.
What’s next? We’ll be working closely with creators to make sure your questions are answered and will work hard to do this the right way. We’ll be sharing more details on this blog and our Twitter account, and will notify you through the app when we start to change things.
— Team Vine & Twitter
Additional reporting by Lara O’Reilly and BI Intelligence.
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