Did Instagram kill the Vine star?

Twitter announces end of Vine video service

(AP/Instagram/Vine)
(AP/Instagram/Vine)

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Vine is dead.

Twitter announced Thursday that they are discontinuing the app. They said users will still be able to access and download their Vine videos.

“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,” said Twitter announced in a statement. “You will be notified before we make any changes to the app or website.”

Shortly after the announcement, Rus Yusupov, one of the creators of Vine, tweeted a message.

The application pioneered an original video format that lets mobile users weave together bits of clips. Twitter purchased Vine in late 2012, prior to its launch in January 2013.

The short-form video app once hoped to replace text. According to financial filings from last year, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was optimistic about Vine. “We’ve simplified our roadmap and organization around a few big bets across Twitter, Periscope, and Vine that we believe represent our largest opportunities for growth,” he said.

204205In June 2013, Vine was the most downloaded non-game application in Apple’s App Store. However, Instagram rapidly gained popularity during that time period, jumping from over 100 million active users in April 2012 to over 300 million active users in December 2014.

While quantifying Vine in relation to Instagram is tricky, Instagram is quick to point out that users uploaded 5 million videos in the first 24 hours. That trend continues, according to eMarketer. This year, 89.4 million Americans will log on to Instagram at least once a month, representing 34.1% of mobile phone users. And by 2017, 51.8% of social network users will use Instagram—surpassing the 50% mark for the first time.

Instagram usage is particularly strong among millennials. This year, there will be 48.2 million millennial Instagram users in the US. By 2019, nearly two-thirds of all millennial smartphone users will use Instagram.

“Instagram and its parent company, Facebook, know that mobile has changed the way people—especially millennials and Gen X-ers—communicate, share and get information,” says eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson. “That’s why they are leading the way in helping marketers reach this audience.”

With Twitter discontinuing Vine, the real question is where does Twitter stand? While Twitter has grown year-after-year, their user growth has clearly started to slow down and that continues to hurt their business.

Just hours before Twitter announced it would axe Vine, the social media company announced they would get rid of nine percent of their workforce.

In their latest report for stockholders, they lowered their expectations for the fourth quarter, sending its stock down as much as 12 percent. Twitter now has 320 million monthly active users, up just four million over the last quarter. And in the latest projections, it is expected to add just 3.6 million users by 2020 instead of 13.9 million previously forecast. By comparison, in 2020 Facebook is expected to add 15.2 million users in the United States.

As a result, Instagram will lag behind the growth of social network usage as a whole. In order to stay competitive, they need to increase usage for users age 12 to 17, which has remained stagnant.

#RIPVine

Of course, after Twitter announced they were ending Vine, users took to Twitter to say goodbye to the app, sharing their favorite Vine videos.

ABC News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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