Vine, a Twitter subsidiary, made the news official on Medium today. The headline of the post is "Important News about Vine," which kind of undersells it. There are really only two sentences that matter. Here's the first:
"Today, we are sharing the news that in the coming months we’ll be discontinuing the mobile app."
And here's the second (emphasis added):
"Nothing is happening to the apps, website or your Vines today."
The post goes on to say that users will be able to access and download their own Vines, and will be keeping the website online. If you're a creator who's worked on Vine, though, the operative word there is today — there's no guarantee that videos on the fading platform will live on forever. In other words: creators had better act fast if they want to preserve their work.
This news comes at the same time as Twitter revealed plans to lay off 9% of its workforce in an effort to post a yearly profit for the first time ever in 2017. After an initial explosion in popularity, the Vine platform slowly withered. Still, as of August 2015, it boasted 200 million monthly viewers — just half of Instagram's active user base, but still an enviable number. Whatever that number decreased to in the past year must have signaled to owner Twitter that it's time to move on.
But Vine's demise might put other creators in a bind. Will they embrace live streaming, as creators like the Dudesons and those of us at What's Trending have? Will they move to YouTube, with its new initiatives which have been widely criticized as unfriendly to creators? Or will Instagram and Snapchat take over as natural successors?
As with the end of any platform, there's a lot of history yet to be written. Whatever comes of Vine's demise, it's certainly sad to see a place that was home to so much creativity go by the wayside.
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