On Thursday, Twitter announced the shutdown of short-form video app Vine and the internet blew up in outrage.
This came just as Twitter announced they’ve cut 9 percent of their employees (roughly 350 people) along with announcing their Q3 earnings. According to The Verge, these significant layoffs included a huge blow on the Vine staff.
“We’re getting more disciplined about how we invest in the business, and we set a company goal of driving toward GAAP profitability in 2017,” CFO Anthony Noto said in Twitter’s earnings press release. “We intend to fully invest in our highest priorities and are de-prioritizing certain initiatives and simplifying how we operate in other areas.”
These changes are happening as Twitter had recently been preparing for a potential purchase by companies including Salesforce and Google. These talks have died down for now, but are expected to start up again with new potential suitors.
Vine – the six-second video app – was bought by Twitter back in 2012 just before it launched in early 2013.
“We value you, your Vines, and are going to do this the right way,” the Vine and Twitter team said in a Medium article. “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.”
The announcement of the impeding shutdown has already lead to waves of reactions from many online communities.
For Vine co-founder’s, the shutdown was bittersweet. While Rus Yusupov expressed signs of remorse on Twitter, he and fellow co-founder Colin Kroll hosted a RIP party via their new interactive live-streaming app, Hype.
Don’t sell your company!
— Rus (@rus) October 27, 2016
Vine has become an integral part of self-expression in many online communities.
For many African-Americans, Vine was a platform that fostered creative self-expression in a way that many other applications had failed.
In an interview with Huffington Post, prevalent African American Viner and a former Huffington Post video host, Chaz Smith, said, “Vine was the perfect platform for making light of and finding humor in some very serious topics and situations affecting the black community in a very short amount of time, and that will definitely be missed.”
Within the world of sports, Vine became a hit for sharing memorable plays, blooper reels, or behind the scene moments. Television programs, ESPN and SportCenter, are able to utilize the unique short video format to highlight clips on repeat unlike the limited amount of times these programs can feature clips on air.
In an interview with SportTechie, DeadSpin editor Tim Burke highlights the key role of Vine within story telling. “How do you tell a story in such a short period of time? The people who were really good at it, you find a way — it draws out skills a lot of smart people hadn’t had ways of exploiting before,” said Burke.
Users, including many journalists, have flocked to Twitter to share their favorite Vines and memorialize the app during its impending loss. Here’s a round-up of some of the top Tweets:
“Vine?” [takes long drag of cigarette] Now there’s a name I haven’t heard in a long t–” “Vine? [takes long drag of cigarette] Now there’s a
— Beetlejew (@jesseberney) October 27, 2016
the perfect vine don’t @ me https://t.co/tirQ092h9z
— John Whitehouse (@existentialfish) October 27, 2016
We made @vine to inspire a new generation of CREATORS. That fire is lit and they’re not going away.
— Rus (@rus) October 28, 2016
— Abby Norman (@abbymnorman) October 27, 2016
First they killed off favs, and you said nothing.
— Casey Newton (@CaseyNewton) October 27, 2016
— lindsey macnabb (@lindsmacnabb) October 27, 2016
this is a blow for creatives of color. im really, really hurt and upset.
— TrickorTracy Clayton (@brokeymcpoverty) October 27, 2016
As we draw closer to Vine’s demise, more people will return to the short form video sharing app to reminisce and honor a unique online community of short form video story telling.