The famous video sharing platform “Vine” seems to be struggling to maintain its user base, all the while rival applications including Snapchat are enjoying increasing exposure. With the number of Vine users decreasing at the same time as more Vine executives are leaving the company, the platform’s future seems uncertain. However, despite these recent outcomes, Twitter – which is Vine’s parent company since 2012 – maintains a positive view on Vine, and claims that the platform “is an important part” of its strategy to refine core services, live-streaming videos and more.
As some readers will recall, Vine’s former General Manager Jason Toff left the company in January 2016 when he was employed by Google’s VR division. Following Jason Toff’s departure, Twitter looked for potential candidates for the GM spot inside the company, but ultimately, CEO Jack Dorsey has appointed Hannah Donovan as Vine’s new GM. This decision surprised some people including Vine employees, primarily because Hannah Donovan was an outside candidate for the job. As a matter of fact, Jason Toff was not the only Vine employee to leave the company earlier this year, and sources cited by Recode suggest that some employees took their leave after Hannah Donovan was appointed as the new GM. Reportedly, some of these employees have decided to leave Vine because they expected Twitter to hire a new General Manager from the inside, who would not disrupt the way Vine has been operating so far. An unnamed former employee cited by Recode says “this is the risk you run when you bring in someone from the outside”. It’s worth noting that according to the report, among the executives who have left Vine so far count interim GM AJ Frank, head of engineering Ben Sheats, senior product manager Adam Feldman, senior product manager Brittany Mennuti, head of data science Robbie Dunnete, head of business development and operations Meghan Malaviya, and more.
Meanwhile, data gathered by comScore (image below) shows that the number of unique Vine visitors in the US throughout the first 5 months of the year has declined from roughly 30 million to roughly 24 million. Nevertheless, according to a Twitter spokesperson cited by the source, despite these recent developments Vine represents “an important part of our strategy” for improving its core services. In addition, while some may not agree with Twitter’s decision to shuffle management at Vine, others see this as an opportunity for re-evaluation and growth. Either way, it’s too early to determine and evaluate the changes made by Donovan so far, but the bigger picture - and Twitter’s plans for the future of Vine - should become clearer in the coming months.