Devastating news from the viral internet: Vine, the app where users edit and loop six seconds of video, is shutting down. The news was announced via a Medium post. No reason for the shutdown was given. Existing Vines will stay up for the foreseeable future, though that could change. “You will be notified before we make any changes to the app or website,” the company wrote in its farewell note.
Vine has been around since 2012, and quickly became invaluable for a certain kind of content. Sports highlights loaned themselves well to the format, as did viral videos. Dozens upon dozens of aspiring comedians and actors used it to signal boost their hot faces and decent-ish line readings. The service experimented with allowing 140 seconds, but the six-second format was perfect—long enough to capture something interesting, short enough to not wear out its welcome.
The news probably has something to do with the failing fortunes of Twitter, Vine’s parent company: Today, it was announced that 9% of Twitter’s workforce will be laid off, as the company’s growth remains stagnant. Rumors of the company’s imminent sale have swirled for months, though nothing has happened because the service seems impossible to monetize or expand. In the end, not that many people want to share a running feed of their every thought. Worse, Twitter continues to face blowback for its total failure to deal with the myriad trolls and abusers populating the service, which is reportedly hurting its chances of acquisition.
Shortly after the news broke, Rus Yusuprov, the co-founder of Vine, tweeted: “Don’t sell your company!”
Anyways, I’m devastated. There are literally a million bad apps, and a good one is going away. There isn’t a service like it. Instagram Video probably comes closest, but the video length—fifteen seconds!—is way too long, and the desktop interface is brutal. For now, we can enjoy some excellent Vines. (This Twitter thread is also an incredible recap.)