Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk has reported a potential interest in reviving Vine, the social video app that Twitter discontinued six years ago.
Over the past few hours, the so-called “Chief Twit”) has tweeted a yes/no poll to his 112.4 million followers – vigorously asking, “Bring Vine back?”.
The question — whether it was a serious product idea or another fancy Elon tweet/“trollercoaster” — quickly garnered millions of votes (mostly in favour) and thousands of tweets in response. This commitment in turn collected some extra attention from Musk who answered some of his followers’ questions/suggestions on the subject of social video.
In response to a tweet from YouTuber Mr Beast – who jokingly referred to TikTok – Musk struck a serious tone, asking, “What could we do to make it better than TikTok?”
He also took the time to publicly come to terms with another Twitter user – who had replied that “video shouldn’t be a separate app” but rather “in Twitter”. This observation earned the “Tesla Owners Silicon Valley” account a ‘100’ emoji response from Muskto signal (apparent) total endorsement of the idea that any Vine/video revival should be a feature inside Twitter, not a standalone product.
So do what you want with it.
The Vine Revival poll (as well as Musk’s broader engagement with the chatter it generated) could imply that his attention to the subject of the video is, at the very least, genuine – though anyone’s guessing whether a Vine reboot is actually being seriously considered, or what that would even mean beyond a name relaunch. mark whether its plan would include a set of major makeover features. (Twitter’s press team did not respond to requests for comment.)
It’s equally plausible that Musk is doing the equivalent of throwing spaghetti at a wall and seeing which pieces stick. Or he’s just bored in the early hours and thought he’d bounce another shower thinking about his fanbase. And/or imagined engaging in a “Lazy Web” brainstorming outsourcing spot.
As always when it comes to Elon, the usual caveats apply.
Still, Vine’s demise was a pretty self-destructive chapter in the history of the Twitter business – so a reboot could offer Musk the chance to rewrite that particular bit of the script and claim incoming hero status with former fans. guess.
As of this writing, more than 2.8 million votes have been cast in Musk’s Vine return poll, with a strong majority (69.4%) voting for a return – although the poll has 14 more hours to go.
Twitter acquired short-form video platform Twitter in 2013. But, in typical clown car fashion, the company ended up wasting the opportunity to turn the fledgling social video platform into a TikTok-style juggernaut, after that then-CEO Jack Dorsey chose to abandon the app a few years later.
Vine’s shutdown earned Twitter the baldest sub-tweet from Vine founder Rus Yusupov – who had this blunt warning to other entrepreneurs at the time: “Don’t sell your business!”
Ironically enough (given that it’s *Twitter* that’s now sold out), Yusupov joined Musk-initiated chatter around Vine’s relaunch – offering the (non-serious?) suggestion that Vine should have “69 videos seconds”.
While Vine launched with hyper-short videos (up to 6 seconds), the maximum upload time was later extended to 140 seconds – and social video giant TikTok has gone way beyond that and even started to allow its users to download videos up to 10 minutes earlier. this year – so the 69-second videos are probably just an attempt to get Musk’s attention (with a childish joke), not a serious product suggestion.
Either way, the interaction indicates that Yusupov is watching with interest what’s happening on Twitter.
And that’s relevant because it’s also not his first foray into Musk’s tweet about Vine: his public timeline remains topped with an earlier tweet – from April 25 – when he posted a photo of him with the (then) future owner of Twitter, asking Musk a (rhetorical?) question: “Hey @elonmusk was this that meeting to save Vine? I forget… “
Musk’s public response to that tweet did not come from that. But Chief Twit is the king of keeping everybody guessing on what he is Actually gonna do next – so, again, you can’t read much/anything in his public silence at the time. (Musk also tried to back out of buying Twitter altogether before agreeing to complete the deal last week, so there have been quite a few up-and-down cycles even in these last months.)
If Yusupov and Musk have was about a Vine reboot, the former’s answer to another Twitter user’s question last month – when author Eli Pariser asked the Twitterverse “the clever take on why Vine died even s ‘it was basically about TikTok’ – might offer some clues as to what all the talk might have been about.
The Vine founder responded to Pariser by lamenting not building the right features “on time” – likely related to another blind spot he conceded about not understanding the importance of building on on trends like lip-syncing video — as well as blaming the app’s demise on a failure to help creators monetize.