Facebook Kills Vine; Twitter Reduces Workforce
by Patricia Lundy
Twitter nixes Vine after a series of recent events that have spelled trouble for the social media/news platform. At the root of this trouble is Facebook, Twitter’s biggest competitor. While Disney has been rumored to show renewed interest in bidding for Twitter, this will not solve Twitter’s battle against winning users over from the Facebook empire.
Twitter Says Goodbye to Vine
Twitter announced today that it would say goodbye to Vine, its instant video sharing mobile app. Vine app users will have a little bit of time to say goodbye, as Twitter said this change will occur gradually over the next few months. Users will still be able to download their videos and access Vine on desktop, though the online site will eventually be put to rest, too.
In a competitive mobile video sharing market where Snapchat and Instagram Stories (part of the Facebook empire) dominate, Vine didn’t hold up. The decision to nix it is surprising, however, given that Twitter monetized the platform only earlier this summer—it seems that it didn’t have too long to reap those benefits. But perhaps this is because Twitter acted too late to entice users with big followings to stay on Vine.
Twitter Says Goodbye to 9% of Its Workforce
Just prior to the Vine announcement, Twitter announced it will layoff 9% of its workforce, mostly in the sales, marketing, and partnerships positions. The decision to cut these jobs comes after Twitter reported a significant decrease in quarterly revenue earnings—but it also has to do with its failure to sell itself. Both insinuate a huge loss of confidence.
Apple and Salesforce Say No to Twitter; Will Disney Say Yes?
Apple, Disney, and Salesforce were all initial bidders in the race to acquire Twitter. The last company standing was Salesforce, but Marc Benioff ultimately decided against it. While this resulted in shares plummeting, there are new rumors that Disney is once again interested in purchasing the platform and Twitter shares have now jumped up.
Twitter Is Not the Social Media Platform It Used to Be
Whether or not Disney buys Twitter is uncertain, but the competition from Facebook is not. Facebook, with its powerhouse of users on Instagram behind it, is Twitter’s fiercest competition, and along with Snapchat, has picked up the slack due to the slow growth of Twitter’s user base.
Both Twitter and Facebook have touted themselves as news platforms, and Facebook is winning when it comes to users. As of February, Twitter had only a fifth of the number of users as Facebook, with its users using Twitter less frequently than Facebook users use Facebook. This trend is not new: Facebook has been killing Twitter in number of users since 2014. Now, with the death of Vine, Facebook wins another victory.
For enterprises, Twitter’s advantage over Facebook used to be its demographics (the ability to reach more start-up and business users), but with Facebook enabling Business Profiles on Instagram, where companies can now receive analytics via their Facebook fan page and also create their own videos via Stories, Facebook is starting to win the battle for enterprise users, too.
The Future of Twitter Is Uncertain
Twitter has a lot of growth to compete with, and its outlook is looking bleak. While Disney’s interest might spur renewed confidence in the platform, Twitter will need some major innovation if it wants to continue attracting users. Enterprises need to adjust their overall social media strategy so that it leverages the newer options available to them and those with a larger user base.