Twitter has revealed it will shut down video looping website and app Vine after three years in operation.
For those not familiar with Twitter’s foray into the video world, Vine is an app available for smartphones that allows users to record short six-second videos that are played to viewers in continuous loops.
The app had its own website for users on computers, and it is integrated with Twitter so loops can easily be shared via accounts. The service spawned a number of “internet celebrities”, whose six-second comedy routines spawned a number of viral Internet sensations.
Some Vine stars even went on to make names for themselves on other mediums, with prankster Cameron Dallas snagging his own Netflix show, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
In 2015 Vine had over 40 million users, who were looping 1.5 billion videos a day reports Giagom. The service was founded in 2012 by entrepreneurs Dom Hofmann, Rus Yusupov, and Colin Kroll, and was then bought by Twitter for $30 million, reports CNBC.
However, the operation will all come to an end, with the Vine team announcing via Medium the service would be shutting down.
“Today, we are sharing the news that in the coming months we’ll be discontinuing the mobile app,” they said.
“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.”
The team stresses the videos themselves will not be taken down, and Vine users will still be able to access and download their videos for now.
The news has still taken many users completely by surprise, with Australian Vine celebrity Ryan Pernofski telling SmartCompany he wasn’t expecting the announcement.
“I was a bit upset when I saw the news,” Pernofski says.
Pernofski boasts over 327 million loops on his videos and has 288,000 followers on the service. His videos generally feature footage of the ocean set to “chilled out” music.
🙁 see you later vine! thank you for watching my videos over 300 million times!!! ? follow me on instagr… https://t.co/6WpaRLSOLy
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— Ryan Pernofski (@RyanPernofski) October 27, 2016
“I don’t know what sort of impact it will have, I had the initial spike of viewers on Vine when it first came out, but still not many people know about it,” he says.
Pernofski started using Vine in 2013 when the service launched, as it was the best social media tool for video at the time.
“At the time Instagram didn’t have video, and I liked the opportunity to share a video on an app,” Pernofski says.
“I got most of my followers around 2013, and that was when all my videos got shared around crazily.”
Pernofski will download his videos on the service but says he has “no idea” what he will do with them, lacking any suitable alternative to host the six-second sea snaps.
Vine did not have inbuilt revenue features like YouTube, so the best way for Vine stars to make money was through sponsored content. Pernofski says his initial intention was never to make money from his videos.
“I’ll do most of my stuff on Instagram now, but I don’t really have a plan,” he says.
As long as Twitter doesn’t get deleted I’ll be posting stuff there, I’ve been successful in sharing a lot more videos on there in last month or so.”
Twitter’s future is shaky, though, as Vine’s shutdown comes in the wake of 350 jobs being axed at the social media company, reports the Wall Street Journal. This is thanks to dwindling revenue numbers, with reported revenue increasing just 8.2% in the last quarter, compared to a 50% increase in the same quarter in 2015.
In its announcement, the Vine team thanked its loyal user base.
“Thank you. To all the creators out there — thank you for taking a chance on this app back in the day. To the many team members over the years who made this what it was — thank you for your contributions. And of course, thank you to all of those who came to watch and laugh every day,” the post reads.
As for the immediate future of the platform, the post only says the team will “work closely” to answer all questions, with users notified about any significant changes through the app. No mention of a potential sale has been made.
Pernofski said he “always had the thought in the back of his mind” Vine may shut down soon, and says he saw it coming a while ago.
“It showed itself to die pretty quickly; all my friends were on it until a certain month then everyone just got off it,” he says.
“I think they just kept it going because of Twitter.”