Elon Musk wants to resurrect Vine, but could bury it for good

The new boss of Twitter has asked his employees to relaunch the old social network, closed in 2016. But reviving Vine is not that simple, and could on the contrary sign its end.

It all started with a simple poll on Twitter, as often with Elon Musk. The new boss of Twitter asked his 112 million followers on October 31, 2022 if they wanted to find Vine, a social network that has been defunct since 2016. The result is clear, with 69.6% yes.

Vine has a special place in social media history. The app, which allowed you to publish videos of up to 6 seconds, was as impressive as it was ephemeral. Created in 2012, bought the same year by Twitter, it was abruptly closed in 2016, to the great regret of many users. No wonder then that the results of the survey show a strong desire to find Vine. But can the app survive today?

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Bring back Vine, but how?

According to Axios, following the poll, Elon Musk asked several Twitter engineers to start working on Vine’s return. They are said to have already started their work and are analyzing the old source code of Vine, which has not been changed since the closure in 2016. The new version of Vine could be ready by the end of the year, according to several sources interviewed by the media.

But an important question remains unanswered for the moment: what form would this Vine rise from the dead take? What made Vine so successful between 2012 and 2016 was its innovative format: very short, easily shareable videos, and a trends (trends) that we find everywhere today.

The success of its format is also what led to its death: it was quickly copied by other already well-established social networks such as Instagram or Snapchat, which also offered other features. As a result, Vine quickly withered away, with most of its stars choosing to switch to another social network.

Vine, back?  // Source: Nino Barbey for Numerama
Vine, back? // Source: Nino Barbey for Numerama

Bringing Vine back today means confronting this thorny problem again, but in an even more competitive sector than in 2016: Instagram is more powerful than ever and Snapchat’s user base remains very active. Above all, TikTok has become an absolutely inescapable global giant based on a recipe very similar to that of Vine.

For Elon Msuk and the engineers at Twitter, bringing Vine back won’t be enough to guarantee long-term success, although they can hope to play on nostalgia for a while. They will have to innovate. TikTok has based its success in part on its algorithm, which makes watching extremely addictive, and all other platforms are trying to follow suit. Vine simply operated with a subscription system, where users only saw content from accounts they subscribed to.

Today, for Vine to survive alongside TikTok and others, it needs new features that would allow it to stand out. However, for the moment, Elon Musk does not really seem to have any leads – he has not made any announcement on this subject, and he is looking for ideas.

MrBeast, one of the most influential Youtubers in the world with over 100 million subscribers, in any case answered the Twitter poll advising the billionaire to be original to make Vine better. ” Nothing is original now, everyone is copying each other. Whatever you put together, make it hard to copy, or it’s a waste of time in my opinion “. Elon Musk has not responded publicly. We do not know for the moment what form the new version of Vine will take, but one thing is certain: if Elon Musk cannot find an original format, it will truly spell the end of the social network.

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