Elon Musk, Twitter’s new owner and CEO, is considering reviving Vine, the short-form video app that Twitter purchased and abandoned long before TikTok made famous the format. The possibility of a Vine revival proves the breadth of product ideas — including old ones — that Musk is experimenting with in his first week as CEO of Twitter.
According to a Twitter employee, experimental discussions are taking place within the social network about a possible Vine revival, as first reported by Axios. The individual asked to remain anonymous because he or she was not authorized to speak on behalf of the company.
It’s unclear how a Vine redesign and brand revival would fit in with other major issues looming over Twitter, such as whether Musk will order mass layoffs or other cost-cutting measures, or whether he will try to increase subscription revenue.
Musk tweeted more than 20 times on Saturday and Sunday, sending mostly contrary signals about where he wants Twitter to go and doing little to allay fears that hate speech and misinformation will flourish under new rules.
One of his tweets included a poll about Vine, with nearly 70% of respondents favoring its return.
A few former Vine stars appeared to be open to the app’s possible revival.
Zach King responded to Musk with a heart emoji.
Lele Pons retweeted Musk and wrote: “Yes, please @elonmusk. Do it!!!”
Musk also asked for suggestions on how to make a revived Vine better than TikTok.
“What could we do to make it better than TikTok?” he wrote in response to one of the most popular YouTube creators, Jimmy Donaldson, better known as MrBeast.
“If you did that and actually competed with tik tok, that’d be hilarious,” Donaldson said in response to Musk’s Twitter poll.
According to Axios, Musk wants a reboot that could be ready by the end of the year.
However, some speculated that bringing Vine back after Twitter shut it down in 2016 would be challenging.
Sara Beykpour, a former Twitter employee who worked on Vine, believes the original Vine software is no longer useful.
“This code is 6+ years old. Some of it is 10+. You don’t want to look there. If you want to revive Vine, you should start over,” Beykpour wrote on Twitter.
According to CNBC, Twitter paid $30 million for Vine in 2012. Years later, the app, like TikTok, allowed users to create a short video — only 6 seconds in the case of Vine — and then have it play repeatedly on a loop in a feed with other videos.
When Vine failed to gain traction, Twitter shut it down in 2016. Vine co-founder Rus Yusupov tweeted that the app failed because it didn’t build the right features in time, didn’t help creators make money, and didn’t embrace lip-sync videos as a trend like TikTok.