Elon Musk could task the Twitter developers to recover one of the services abandoned by the company, Vine, which started the trend for short videos.
Every social network wants to be TikTok, or at least do what TikTok does — attract a new, younger audience. It is not surprising that the app stores have been filled with clones or that services like Instagram have focused on their versions, such as Instagram Reels or YouTube Shorts.
Only a few people know that TikTok didn’t invent the concept of short videos. There was already a successful app which opted for short videos as a quick and easy way to connect with the audience, and that’s Vine.
It was an app for sharing short videos, no longer than six seconds. Twitter bought that in 2012. Many of the memes and viral videos shared on Twitter and YouTube today were first published on Vine, and many of its creators found fame on other platforms.
We know that Vine was ahead of its time, but in 2016, it was no surprise that the service was shut down. Twitter was going through a rough patch — its co-founder, Jack Dorsey, had returned to a company desperate for growth and revenue streams. In that context, the closure of Vine was a way to control spending, but in hindsight, if it had lasted a couple more years, perhaps it could have attracted the same users as TikTok. But it’s hard to say if Vine can be successful if it makes a comeback now.
Elon Musk seems willing to take a risk. He ran a poll on his account, asking his followers if they wanted Vine back; the responses were mostly positive, with 69% of the votes. The possibility that Twitter could fight TikTok with Vine will be interesting to see, but it won’t be easy.
According to Axios, Elon Musk has set a deadline for the developer team to bring Vine back by the end of the year; however, we must remember that the development of Vine was stopped six years ago. The Vine source code is unlikely to be exploitable as it is, so it would be better to develop it from scratch for a new platform. And that means spending more money and hiring more employees, both of which Musk doesn’t want to do.