Twitter purchases Vine to get into video-hosting game

Steven Loeb · October 9, 2012 · Short URL:

Twitter continues trend of pushing out third party apps, should take warning from Apple Maps

Twitter’s attitude toward third party apps has been controversial of late. As the social network expands into content creating, it is inevitably pushing out services that users have come to prefer, in favor of their own apps, which may or may not work as well. Twitter seems to have taken another step in that direction today.

AllThingsD reported Tuesday that Twitter has purchased video hosting start-up Vine, a video sharing service that creates edited videos out of a series of short video clips.

VatorNews reached out to Twitter for confirmation, and for more details, but a spokesperson from Twitter would not comment on the report.

According to founder Dominik Hofmann’s LinkedIn, the service was founded in June. It is still yet to be released, but you can see examples of how it works here and here.

“Vine is the best way to capture and share video on your iPhone. No editing. No rendering. No post-production. Video has never been this fun,” it says on Vine’s homepage.

This news comes on the same day that AllThingsD also reported that Twitter was considering building its own video-hosting service, which would allow its users to upload video directly through its mobile app, instead of using third party apps.

The two stories combined make it seem likely that Twitter bought Vine as an acqhire, to bring Vine’s three person team to work on Twitter’s video sharing service. It was originally reported it as such, but then later updated to say that Vine may still remain as a standalone service.

Either way, this news is yet another example of Twitter’s recent emphasis on getting rid of third party apps in favor of its own internal services, which began with its new API guidelines, launched back in June.

The guidelines stated that applications that have more at least 100,000 users will have to work directly with Twitter on their product, policies and service agreement. Those that already have more than 100,000 user can only grow to 200% of their current size before they will contact Twitter.

A few weeks ago Buzzfeed reported that Twitter would be removing support for third party image hosts, such as Twitpic and yfrog, from its official apps. There is no word yet on whether Twitter would take similar steps with third party video hosts, such as like TwitVid and Vodpod, but it would seem likely that a similar move would come somewhere down the road.

After Twitter debuted the new guidelines, I wrote an article discussing whether or not Twitter’s API was good news for Twitter users, or only Twitter itself.

The social network seems to be playing a dangerous game here. Not only does it rish alientating its most passionate users, but it could also make the same mistake that Apple did with its recent Maps service.

As was widely reported, Apple dropped Google Maps from its recent iOS 6 update in favor of its own products.

The result was so bad  that CEO Tim Cook even came out to apologize for the app, and to suggestother products to use in its place.

According to Snappli, only 4% of its users are still using Apple Maps, compared to 25% who were using Google Maps before they switched over to iOS 6.

I'm not saying that it is impossible for Twitter to create an image hosting service, as well one for video, that are just as good, if not better, than the third party apps that it is pushing out. But they should take a good look at Apple: only do it if you can do it well.

(Image source:

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