Elon Musk hints at Vine revival
The cult video-sharing app could make a return
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Is Vine coming back?
😯 Elon Musk has hinted that he wants to revive Vine
💀 The video-sharing app was bought by Twitter and shut down in 2016
💻 Musk has reportedly instructed engineers to return to the platform
🤔 But he hasn’t committed to its revival just yet
After buying Twitter for $44 billion, Elon Musk has signaled his interest in reviving video-sharing app Vine.
Twitter purchased the platform in 2012 but shut it down only a few years later in 2016. Musk appears open to rebooting the service, asking his followers on Twitter whether he should “bring back Vine?”. Over 69% of the two million responders backed its return.
As Axios reports, Musk has gone even further behind closed doors, instructing Twitter engineers to develop a Vine reboot that could be ready to go by the end of the year. Employees have already started looking into the platform’s old base code, but will have their work cut out for them. It hasn’t been touched or updated since the platform shut down.
Vine’s short-form video content was a novelty when it hit phones a decade ago, but the market has become more saturated since. TikTok now dominates bitesize, viral video snippets, boasting over one billion monthly active users.
It’s become so popular that most of the other major social networks have copied its basic formula. Instagram introduced Reels in 2020, while YouTube rolled out Shorts that same year – both emulate TikTok’s take on short, looping videos that are served up by an algorithm rather than a user’s subscription or follow list.
Musk will likely want to snap up some of that content for Twitter. Although the site does support video, it doesn’t put nearly as much emphasis on it as the other social media heavyweights.
Whether Musk will actually go through with the idea isn’t certain. He’s put business decisions to his followers in the past and followed through on them, selling 10% of his Tesla shares after putting up a Twitter poll. But this latest stunt concerns an entire company, not just his personal finances.
This isn’t the only big change Musk has in the pipeline. He’s expressed plans to implement a rolling verification system that will charge users $20 a month to keep their coveted blue ticks. Again, he set employees a bafflingly short deadline for the feature, suggesting if it hasn’t rolled out by November 7 some people will be fired.
The Shortcut is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.