28 Oct 2016

Twitter axes Vine video service

1:26 pm on 28 October 2016

Twitter has announced it is to close its video sharing service Vine about four years after it launched.

social media apps

There's no room for Vine in a saturated social media landscape. Photo: RNZ

Vine let people share six-second-long video clips that played on a loop.

Twitter did not give a reason for the closure, but earlier announced it was cutting 9 percent of its workforce following slow growth of the social network.

The company's latest results show it lost $100 million in the past three months.

"In the coming months we'll be discontinuing the [Vine] mobile app," the company said in a blog.

On learning of the move, Rus Yusupov - one of the three co-founders of Vine - tweeted: "Don't sell your company!"

The company blog added: "Nothing is happening to the apps, website or your Vines today."

"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."

It added that users would be notified before it made any changes to the Vine app or website.

It is not clear whether Twitter plans to integrate Vine-like features into its main app.

Match made in heaven?

Twitter acquired Vine before it had officially launched in 2012 for a reported $US30 million and seemed a natural progression for Twitter when it was launched in 2013.

Six-second videos seemed a great pairing for a service famed for its punchy 140-character posts.

But it has since integrated a separate video facility into Twitter's main platform, and acquired and launched the live-streaming app Periscope.

Vine also struggled to compete with short video on Snapchat and Instagram, which made it hard for Twitter to justify a separate app.

Many, but not all, Twitter users were surprised by the announcement

"Twitter was all about setting a constraint on communication - 140 characters - and with Vine it tried to do the same to video," said Ian Fogg, an analyst at the tech consultancy IHS Markit.

"The problem is that Vine didn't keep pace with the innovation from Snapchat, Facebook and other players in the market."

Vine has a dedicated fan base, and there are many Vine celebrities out there.

But you are almost as likely to see a Vine re-shared on Facebook than you are to see it on Vine itself.