The social-media company bought Vine in 2012 before it even launched, but four years later it’s mothballing the project. The move is part of Twitter’s efforts to cut costs and achieve profitability, and the company said Thursday that it is laying off 9% of its global workforce, or about 350 employees.
Comedian King Bach, Vine’s biggest star with 16.2 million followers, seemed to shrug off the news — telling his fans that he’s going to appear on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” to talk about it, turning the development into a media opportunity. King Bach, whose real name is Andrew Bachelor, has large followings on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, and has landed roles in McG-directed horror comedy “The Babysitter” and indie comedy “Where’s the Money” with Terry Crews and Josh Brener.
Jason Nash, a Viner with 2.7 million fans who stars in the recently released road-trip comedy film “FML,” reacted with irritation to Vine’s demise. “How can you just shut down the app?” he said in a tweet directed at Twitter and Vine. “We worked hard on it.”
Vine co-founder Rus Yusupov also weighed in on the shutdown, tweeting, “Don’t sell your company!” The company was formed in mid-2012, and Twitter acquired Vine in October 2012 for a reported $30 million.
The four-member Eh Bee Family, which has posted comedic skits to 3.1 million followers on Vine, thanked Vine and said they’ll miss it — but also let their fans know that they’ll still be on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and MySpace. Also expressing gratitude was top Vine creator Brandon Bowen, who thanked Vine by saying: “You guys showed me that even if I was weird, I could be liked.”
Other top Viners include Nash Grier (12.9 million followers), Lele Pons (11.4 million), Rudy Mancuso (10.7 million), Brittany Furlan (9.9 million), Cameron Dallas (9.6 million), Curtis Lepore (9.5 million), Logan Paul (9.4 million), Jerry Purpdrank (9.4 million) and Josh Peck (9.1 million).
But even creators who rose to fame on Vine have steadily shifted focus to other platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
“Vine being deleted is like an old friend i havent rly talked to in a while dying & even tho we werent close anymore it hurts to see them go,” tweeted Gabbie Hanna, who goes by the online handle “The Gabbie Show.” She has 4.9 million Vine followers, 2.3 million on YouTube, 1.8 million on Instagram, and 1.3 million on Facebook.
Vine lost the war because its two biggest competitors, Snapchat and Facebook’s Instagram, have “defensible advantages,” said Jared Augustine, CEO of Thuzio, which provides marketers with data and management tools for social-marketing campaigns.
“Snapchat is a superior video product and is constantly improving. Instagram simply lives in a much larger ecosystem via Facebook,” Augustine said. “For these reasons, Vine’s top influencers have been leaving the platform for greener pastures.”