Twitter kills Vine, lays off hundreds

Vine, the short looping video sharing site introduced by San Francisco-based Twitter Inc. in 2013, announced today that its six seconds of fame are almost up.

On a day that Twitter announced it will be laying off about nine per cent of its workforce, the news that Vine will be eventually phasing out of service came from a Medium post to Vine’s official account there. While no firm date was set for killing the service, Vine said the mobile app will be discontinued in the coming months.

“Nothing is happening to the apps, website, or your Vines today,” the short note reads. “We value you, your Vines, and are going to do this the right way. You’ll be able to access and download your Vines. We’ll be keeping the website online because we think it’s important to still be able to watch all the incredible Vines that have been made. You will be notified before we make any changes to the app or website.”

In other words, it’s all downhill from here.

In a call with analysts early Thursday morning, Twitter’s Chief Financial Officer Anthony Noto said Twitter will be undergoing a restructuring plan that will see layoffs of 300 out of a global workforce of more than 3,600. The cuts will come from its sales, partnerships, and marketing teams, according to a report in the Globe and Mail. The company plans to turn a profit next year – something that it’s never done, despite attracting more than 300 million active monthly users to the platform.

Twitter’s woes and Vine’s demise serve as a stark contrast to the success of its competitor, Facebook, which has a user base of more than five times Twitter’s. Even Instagram, a photo-sharing site acquired by Facebook that allows users to post videos up to one minute in length, has more users than Twitter.

Noto says Twitter does have a strategy involving video content as it forges towards profitability. That will include livestreams of sporting events with partners like the NFL.

The restructing comes in the wake of several reported acquisition negotiations falling through, including a possible sale to Inc. According to Reuters, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff backed out of the deal after leaks about the negotiations caused shareholder concern.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Brian Jackson
Brian Jackson
Editorial director of IT World Canada. Covering technology as it applies to business users. Multiple COPA award winner and now judge. Paddles a canoe as much as possible.

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