Twitter bought Vine, an app that allowed users to take 6-second videos that would run on a loop, in 2012.
Jakub Porzycki | Nurphoto | Getty Images
Twitter New owner and CEO Elon Musk is mulling the return of Vine, the short-form video app that Twitter bought and abandoned long before TikTok popularized the format.
Vine’s possible revival shows the breadth of product ideas — including old ones — that Musk is toying with in his first week on Twitter.
A person who works for Twitter said there are exploratory discussions within the social network about a possible Vine revival, which Axios first reported. The person requested anonymity and was not authorized to speak on behalf of the company.
It’s unclear how Vine’s redesign and brand revival would fit into other big questions hanging over Twitter, such as whether Musk will order mass layoffs or other cost-cutting measures or try to boost subscription revenue.
Musk tweeted more than 20 times on Saturday and Sunday, offering mostly conflicting signals about where he wants to take Twitter and doing little to allay fears that hate speech and misinformation will flourish under the new rules.
One of his tweets was a poll about Vine where nearly 70% of respondents voted to bring it back.
Several former popular Vine stars seemed to be on board with the app’s potential resurrection.
Zach King Musk replied with a heart emoticon.
Retweeted by Lele Pons Musk and he wrote: “Yes please @elonmusk. Do it!!!”
Musk also asked for ideas on how to make a revived Vine better than TikTok.
“What could we do to make it better than TikTok?” he wrote in response to Jimmy Donaldson, better known as MrBeast, who is one of YouTube’s most popular creators.
Donaldson responded to Musk’s survey on Twitter, writing: “If you did this and actually competed with tik tok it would be laughable”
Axios reported that Musk wants a reboot that could be completed by the end of the year.
But some have argued that it won’t be easy to bring Vine back after Twitter shut it down in 2016.
Sara Beykpour, a former Twitter employee who worked on Vine, said the original Vine software may be too old to be useful now.
“This code is 6+ years old. Some are 10+. You don’t want to look there. If you want to revive Vine, you should start over,” Beykpour he wrote on Twitter.
Twitter bought Vine in 2012 for $30 million, CNBC reported. Like TikTok years later, the app allowed users to create a short video — as little as 6 seconds in Vine’s case — and then have it looped in a feed with other videos.
When Vine didn’t take off, Twitter shut it down in 2016, prompting Pornhub to make a joke offer and one of Vine’s founders expressing regret that they ever sold it.
Rus Yusupov, co-founder of Vine, has he tweeted that Vine failed because it didn’t build the right features in time, didn’t help creators make money, and didn’t embrace lip sync videos as a trend like TikTok has.
In 2020, Instagram launched its own version of looped videos called Reels to respond to the popularity of TikTok.
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