TWITTER HAS hit the stop button on its six-second Groundhog Day video loop service Vine. Twitter has hit the stop button on its six-second Groundhog Day video loop service Vine. Twitter has hit the stop button on its six-sec... you get the idea.
The company caught everyone unawares on Thursday, making the announcement just before Apple's MacBook launch event.
In a blog post, Twitter explains, or rather doesn't: "Nothing is happening to the apps, website or your Vines today. 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."
However, it stops short of explaining why it has made the decision to junk one of the most popular social networking tools in the world.
The news comes the day after the company announced its results showing a smaller than expected loss, but was still tied to the downsizing of around 350 people.
Speculation is rife that Twitter, which is recognised as a valuable asset, but with potential as yet financially unrealised, is trying to fatten itself up to appeal to buyers. With Microsoft, Google, Salesforce and Amazon amongst rumoured courtiers, it should be a no-brainer sale, but so far there have been no firm offers on the table.
As one commenter to the Twitter blog post puts itL "Twitter is preparing for sale. Six second videos are hard to put pre-roll ads on."
The other issue is a technical one. The rise in popularity of putting GIFs on every sodding post (not that we at INQ would ever do that) has left Twitter with the decision as to whether to enter the shark-infested waters of allowing Vines to be converted into GIFs officially by designing a tool, or if that’s just going to be a massive technical headache bolstered by questions over intellectual copyright of the images.
Currently, third party sites such as Giphy offer the service, very unofficially.
In short, it could be that they’ve decided they don’t want to touch that one with yours but recognise that the service lacks merit without. Rock. Hard place.
In the meantime, Twitter assures the world that their Vine clips are safe and will remain so, and that it will "answer all questions" in the coming weeks and months. Hopefully starting with "Eh?" µ
So that's why she's smiling…
How many Zuckbucks to the pound?
Alexa, is this exploitation?