When Twitter announced that they were sunsetting Vine, it caused many to scratch their heads. While the service may well take a good chunk of change to run, its popularity meant that killing it off completely was a poor way to cut fat. On top of that, Twitter has been looking for ways to rejuvenate their stagnating user base and spark growth, with video being one of the biggest types of content looked at to help attract new users and retain bored current users. While the original plan was for Vine content to stick around indefinitely and no new content to be created, word on the street is that Twitter received a flood of bids for the service, one of them being from Japanese modern communications giant LINE.
According to sources close to the matter, Twitter is taking a harder look at who can best run the service than who can throw down the most cash for it. Most offers are rumored to be coming in at under $10 million, which means that Twitter's only real benefit from selling Vine would be to continue having users brought in by the content it generates. Twitter and Vine are deeply integrated, so good content being created on Vine has a pretty decent chance of bringing more traffic, which could mean more users over to Twitter. This is, of course, a double-edged sword; if Vine is managed poorly, say, by deleting the archives and thus breaking certain Tweets, for example, Twitter could face public backlash.
In considering the decision, Twitter has reportedly narrowed the bidding pool down to five options. Whether LINE is on that list, of course, is a mystery for now. This whole affair, in fact, should be taken with a grain of salt; there are active talks of acquisition going on, but interested parties could back out, or Twitter may end up feeling that none of the would-be buyers would do Vine justice, and simply cut their losses. The internet at large did not take well to Vine being shut down, but a bad pick for the service's next owner could very well see Twitter in more hot water than they would be for simply letting Vine fade away.