In what could be a devastating blow to the meme economy, Twitter announced it would be killing off Vine today. Over the next couple of months, Vine will be discontinuing its mobile app, but existing Vines will remain hosted on its website, though for how long is anyone's guess.
The company wrote in a Medium post: "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."
Earlier this year, sources told Recode the four-year-old video sharing platform had been suffering from slow user growth. In May, Vine was reaching around 24 million people in the US. The previous year, that number was somewhere around 30 million, according to Recode. Vine was already losing users to Instagram in 2013, when the Facebook-owned company launched its popular video functionality.
It's still unclear why Vine was so unceremoniously nixed. Some believe the departure of its co-founders, along with Twitter's own acquisition woes, might have made Vine more trouble than it was worth.
Regardless, the company's death will leave a strange graveyard of content created by its abundant community of "Vine stars." Many of these users commanded millions of followers, and some even used their fame to secure advertising deals ranging up to $50,000 per campaign. Vine's demise also raises concerns about the large number of POC (persons of color) who found artistic autonomy through the platform in a media environment that's still biased in favor of white creatives.
There are a lot of questions that need answering, but in the meantime, allow those of us at Motherboard to eulogize the platform through a comprehensive list of our favorite Vines. Please enjoy, and SCREW YOU, JAKE.