Elon Musk is betting on Vine to make Twitter popular again

Twitter acquired the video-sharing service in 2012 but shut it down four years later.
Ameya Paleja
Can Vine revive Twitter's fortunes?
Can Vine revive Twitter's fortunes?

1, 2 / Wikimedia Commons

Elon Musk has told engineers at Twitter to work on a reboot of the short-video sharing service Vine, six years after it was shut down by the then CEO, Jack Dorsey, Business Insider has reported.

After months of delay in acquiring the social media platform he believes has the potential to be the world's town square, Elon Musk has wasted no time to ring in changes. After firing Twitter's top brass, Musk is the only director of the company he now wholly owns and, as CEO is putting Twitter employees to the task.

On Monday, Interesting Engineering reported that Musk-led Twitter was considering a $20 fee for users who subscribe for some premium features instead of $5 a month. At the same time, the coveted blue tick next to profiles would also attract the same fee. When famous figures like author Stephen King aired this views against the move, Musk provided a short rationale in a reply,

What is Vine?

In his bid to quintuple Twitter's revenues, Musk would need to do much more than increase subscription fees. His next move appears to be the revival of Vine, which Twitter shut down five years ago.

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, who was the CEO when the video-sharing service was shut down, has called it his biggest regret, Business Insider reported in April. Vine was acquired by Twitter in 2012 and allowed users to post six-second-long looping videos. Interestingly, TikTok, now the world leader among short video content platforms, was founded the same year Vine was shut down.

The idea of reviving the service also found a ton of support from Musk's followers on Twitter when the now-CEO put out a poll on the social media platform.

Musk is also open to suggestions from users on how the service could be improved, compared to market leader, Tik-Tok.

How soon could Vine make a comeback?

Unlike the subscription fee change that Twitter employees have only a week to bring into effect, Musk may be looking at the year-end to roll out a revamped version of Vine. A team member at Twitter told Axios that the code of the service needs a lot of work.

Even if it did, Vine would need to make a mark in a highly competitive space. Apart from Tiktok, other social media platforms such as Instagram and YouTube allow users to post short video content.

The revival of Vine may have come under similar circumstances when it was shut down. Back in 2016, Vine's top creators were leaving for other platforms, and Twitter was struggling with poor user growth and looking to trim down its workforce, a Business Insider report said.

Fast forward to 2022, Twitter isn't doing particularly well, and new CEO Elon Musk has plans to reduce the workforce by as much as 75 percent. Will reboot of an old service in a competitive space yield different results? Only time can tell.

Add Interesting Engineering to your Google News feed.
Add Interesting Engineering to your Google News feed.
message circleSHOW COMMENT (1)chevron
Job Board