On January 24, 2013, Dom Hofmann, Rus Yusopov, and Colin Kroll launched the mobile application, Vine, which was a social media platform that allowed users to create and share six-second looping videos.
Vine used to be an independent company, however, another social media company known as Twitter purchased Vine on October 2012 for $30 million. Due to budget cuts, Twitter had to shut down the popular application in the beginning of 2017 as the company could not afford Vine any longer. As of today, many users are still outraged and shocked at the discontinuation of the mobile app. Twitter should relaunch the Vine application to not only satisfy consumers, but to also gain financial profit.Vine’s success had grown since its first release.
Its originators had imagined their structure for making six-second videos as “a way to help people capture casual moments in their lives and share them with friends.” Instead, users utilized this app as a creative challenge with the unique format of expressing creativity, humor, and driving conversation around pop culture with its six-second time constraint. As Vine started as an application only limited to iOS devices, an Android version was made available five months later as its fast-spreading popularity circuited. According to Wondershare, Vine has become “the most popular and most utilized video-sharing application in the online marketplace in just a span of two months.
” In less than three months after the release, Vine became the most downloaded free application in the iOS App Store as it enabled users to generate entertainment for others to see. This caught Twitter’s attention as the company saw it as the perfect video platform to partner with their short-text social media app.Since then, Twitter-owned Vine has grown an extraordinary 403% between the first and third quarters of 2013 according to Mashable, Statista, and GlobalWebIndex. However, Vine was not providing the financial support that Twitter was expecting to receive.
Since Vine was a small business based in New York, it experienced a hard time growing its user base as well as finding ways to make money. The Verge explains how Vine failed to compete with other social medias that added the similar features that Vine had. The threat to Vine started with the photo-only social media app, Instagram, as the new feature of posting 15-second video clips was “the beginning of the end,” as the Vine app didn’t move fast enough to differentiate. Even though there was no other platform that generated more popular culture moments than Vine, the company was unable to keep up with competitors. With more than 200 million monthly active users on Vine, it was still not enough as Twitter was still struggling to be profitable. With this, the company had to let go of 350 employees, or 9% of their company, which resulted in the end of the Vine application on January 2017. To counteract with the unfortunate outcome, Twitter allowed for existing Vine videos, also known as “Vines,” to remain on the Vine website. They also turned the Vine mobile app into what is known as the “Vine Camera,” which only allows people to make six-second videos, though it can only be posted on other social media applications.
The Vine Camera has infuriated many former users as it does not provide the same features that the original app had, such as the social community of comments, faves, and follows that supported those clips. People reviewed the Vine Camera as “the worst app ever” as it currently is rated with 1.5 out of 5 on the App Store. From a business perspective, it is important for companies to satisfy the wants of consumers in order to earn profit, which in this case, is the perfect example for showing how more people are demanding for the return of Vine.There is the lingering question: “How could Vine benefit Twitter now even though it was not benefiting Twitter before?” If Twitter were to reactivate the application, it would certainly help the business financially as Vine has become more popular since its shut down.
Based on Twitter analytics, more Twitter users started to tweet and share the existing Vines after it shut down compared to while it was still running. Considering the website’s inactivity, more than 21.38 million people still visited the Vine website between August and October of 2017, including an 8.4% increase from October 2017. According to Similarweb’s Website Analysis, 41.55% of Vine website visits are from desktops while 58.45% are from mobile devices, so it is evident that there is still a desire for people to watch Vines on a handheld device.
Twitter can use this information to acknowledge and consider the possibility there is still potential for Vine to acquire more active users, which will boost the company’s profits in the long run.Not only will users benefit from the return of Vine by meeting consumer wants, but it can also be used by other companies to share products, promote events, and build a brand. Vine comprised a vital demographic that many brands are anxious to achieve, which are teenagers. Vines had the potential to be used as a marketing tool, and with relaunching Vine, brands can be able to create Vines to be shared with a whole new, younger audience. For example, advertisements made by top companies such as Sony, Adidas, Oreos, and even Airbnb have been used in past years, as their market strategy was to produce a creative video to sell their products in the span of six seconds. Companies also sponsored popular Vine users, “Viners,” with millions of followings to promote their brands. Advertisements by other companies using Vine will benefit both the advertising company and Twitter, as companies’ advertisements can be exposed to teenagers while Vine makes profit from it.
There can be another approach to relaunching Vine. Twitter’s revenue is still not exceeding to where the company wants it to be, so it may be better off for Twitter to just give up the Vine company and sell it. The Daily Mail claims that several firms have submitted bids, including several from Asia, after the shutdown.
Notwithstanding, Twitter denied them and would not let anyone save the once most-popular app. According to TechCrunch, since Twitter is still connected Vine, it has enabled them to preserve all the existing Vines so that tweets and embeds do not vanish, whereas if another company owned it, the company might break or delete the archive. It is not just a threat to existing Vines, but also to Twitter itself. If someone else bought Vine, they would have the ability to copy Twitter’s core user graph since Vine was “bootstrapped off of Twitter,” which is too risky for Twitter to do, considering their current situation. However, having discontinued the application has burned Twitter’s trust and relationships with potential investors as it shows how Twitter treats its partnering companies. Therefore, if Twitter did bring back Vine, there is a possibility for Twitter to be able to earn back the trust that they first developed with investors.
As Twitter is still declining and trying to figure out ways on how to improve their company, relaunching Vine can be the solution to their financial situation. Despite Vine’s end, many former users still continue to revisit the website to watch existing Vines, meaning there is still potential interest in the application if it returned. Having Vine reactivate has a likelihood of increasing Twitter’s revenue as it can grow to be more popular, it can allow for other companies to spend on advertisements to be shown on Vine, and it can raise investors’ trust in Twitter.