Hey I was burning out on the net so I took some time off this morning, and when I came back, the news was that Twitter is killing Vine.
Here's the announcement.
Here's the TechMeme thread.
They didn't really announce anything.
At some point they're going to discontinue the mobile app. All existing Vines will continue to exist. You can keep making Vines. Nothing changes.
Sorry for typos and mistakes and fantasies.
This announcement is the product of a meeting where some exec said we have to kill some products to go with the layoffs, what can we kill? He or she goes to the whiteboard, and asks for names of products. Little non-strategic things come up, then the boss writes Vine. Because Jack told them to do that, or it was Jack at the whiteboard.
This happened because at the board meeting they said we have to cut back on something, and they decided it would be Vine, probably because they don't use it and the numbers aren't growing, or they don't have an ad strategy for it, or the person running Vine isn't popular inside the company.
That's how decisions like this get made.
Of course there are so many problems in cutting off a service, that the best they could do is announce they're cutting it off, not actually cut it off.
A better approach would have been to find a buyer for Vine, they must have tried this and failed. The stench of Twitter now among investors is a powerful repellant.
Second-best: Spin it off as an independent company, endow it with some cash and your best wishes. At least it'll have a chance.
Also, cut things you can cut right now. It's bullshit to announce to the world that you plan to at some point kill a product. That's like telling an employee that they're going to get laid off sometime in the next few months. You just lost the employee when you did that. They may come to work, but they're not going to do anything. Users respond like that too.
Cut things users want to see go. Mentions. Start there. Get back the screen real estate.
I would then boldly restructure the product, by licensing the API to the world via a liberal open source license, one that can not be reverted. Enable Twitter-compatible server products to be developed. Then create a pool of money to invest in projects building on that API. Want to be really bold? Make grants not investments. This allows the work to be done anywhere, by anyone.
Twitter is too good a product to let the whole thing die on the (sorry) Vine.