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Twitter Cuts Down The Vine

vineTwitter said Thursday that it would shut down its video app, Vine, in the coming months. The move comes as part of Twitter’s broader restructuring as it attempts to cut costs and refocus on its core business. The company will also be laying off roughly 350 people, or 9 percent of it its total staff.

Thursday’s move is surprising but not unbelievable, as the video app has been struggling for some time. Vine was never a revenue driver for Twitter, and had long since stopped growing. In addition, many of its top executives left last spring and early summer. Still, it’s worth noting that Twitter is flat out shutting down the app completely rather than trying to find a potential seller.

Twitter says that users will be able to download their Vine videos before the shutdown happens, but a specific timetable for that has yet to be announced. Vine’s general manager Hannah David, who only joined the company this past spring, will stay to help oversee the transition.

Why Vine Died

Twitter bought Vine for some $30 million in 2012, and believed it to be the perfect video analog for their already existing short-form text platform. Still, it eventually became clear that Vine was more of a creative challenge than the everyday video sharing tool that the service’s founders had envisioned. Still, the service was culturally interesting, and it would be foolish to say that it didn’t carve its own unique niche in the social media landscape.

Unfortunately, Vine just didn’t move fast enough to differentiate itself. Snapchat, which allowed users to send one another 10-second video clips and broadcast them publicly, would ultimately become the casual mass-market lifecasting app that Vine was originally meant to be. And years of executive churn only further contributed to Vine’s rapid decline and inability to generate revenue.

The most important take away from the service was the people that were on it, and much of that won’t be able to be replicated on other services. Still, it’s clear that Vine wasn’t cut out to be the social video app of the future.

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