The reasons why Twitter won’t let anyone save Vine

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Zcash, Blockstack, and appcoins, oh my!

There are so many ways Twitter could end up looking like a fool if it gave up control of Vine that it would rather bury the app than sell it. There’s little to gain and a lot to lose. So in the spirit of Vine, I’m going to break down the reasoning into 6-second snippets of text:

  • Twitter can preserve all the existing Vines so tweets and embeds with them don’t go dead, whereas if someone else owned it, they might break or delete the archive

  • There’s too much brand risk involved if someone else owned a product everyone associates with Twitter. What if the new owner resold it to PornHub, which turned Vine into a smut garden?

  • With Vine’s traffic so low at the end, the sales process might have been too costly and distracting to Twitter to make the little cash it got back worth it

  • If it did sell for a low price, it would embarrass Twitter by implying it was desperate for the cash just to keep the lights on

  • Since Vine’s account system was bootstrapped off of Twitter, selling it could give the new owner too much ability to clone Twitter’s core user graph and build a competing product

  • If someone else bought it and made it more successful, it would demonstrate the ineptitude of the Twitter leadership and their inability to harness Vine’s potential

That all makes sense.

But…

By killing off Vine instead of allowing someone else to breathe new life into it or assigning a small skeleton crew to maintain the app:

  • Twitter burns the trust and relationships it built with millions of users, and especially the star content creators. Why would creators want to invest in building an audience on Periscope if this is how Twitter treats its communities?

  • Scorned video makers will flee to Twitter’s social competitors and become advocates for Instagram, Snapchat, Musical.ly and YouTube

  • Finally, Twitter might want to focus on news, and much of Vine wasn’t news. But when people want to see a quick clip from a debate, or sporting event, or protest, they may help grow some other service with newsy ambitions because Twitter let Vine wither