Elon Musk to Revive Vine in the Wake of TikTok's Ban?

Posted by ImageWorks Creative Team April 29, 2024
Elon Musk to Revive Vine in the Wake of TikTok's Ban? Image of a prohibited sign in the tiktok style


With the way that the wind is blowing regarding the prospective TikTok ban, there have been many questions asked about what will come after. One of the most significant voices in this situation, Elon Musk, has thrown his hat into the ring, offering a surprising proposal: what if he just revived Vine?

In a poll on X (formerly Twitter), Elon Musk asked X users whether X should revive Vine, an app for short-form video content. It wouldn't be out of the question for him, as Vine had been purchased and eventually shut down by Twitter years earlier.

Why is Musk talking about reviving Vine?

This is a multifaceted question, as there is more than one reason people can point to. One of the first things to consider is the recent push for a TikTok ban, which is receiving bipartisan support for a variety of reasons, the main argument being its alleged connections to the Chinese government. However, allegations have been made that the ban is, in part, to censor content on TikTok that often helps to unveil truth, or further spread controversy alike. It's no surprise too that Vine would come up in the same breath, since many here in the USA consider TikTok to be the successor to it.

What were the poll results?

In a poll on X, users voted overwhelmingly in favor of reviving the service, coming out to 69.6% to 30.4% of 2,262,946 votes, more than enough to demonstrate a seemingly convincing desire for its return.

While this recent poll is believed to be in part related to the TikTok ban, it's not the first time it's come up with Musk. According to Axios, Musk and his team were looking into reviving Vine all the way back in 2022, though whether this would be part of that same initiative is speculative.

Why was Vine discontinued?

An important part of understanding why Vine is coming back is to understand why it went away in the first place. Despite how popular its revival is, it has never been a particularly popular website. Known for its seven-second-long short videos, it only ever achieved a maximum of 200 million users, and after being purchased by Twitter, was discontinued due to an inability to make it profitable.

Is Musk actually going to bring back Vine?

Despite the poll results, it's important to note that the results of the poll are not binding. Musk has, in the past, hemmed and hawed over poll results, including one instance where a majority of users voted for him to step down as CEO of Twitter. His response was to suggest that the poll be limited to only Twitter Blue (later renamed X Premium) users. Nevertheless, he eventually stepped down in accordance with the result. He has also typically adhered to poll results in other cases.

Regardless of whether Musk follows through on the revival, the question becomes whether it stays. As discussed, Vine shut down for profitability issues, so there is reason to believe that it may one day be shut down again. Remember, while it feels like a big win for Vine in that poll, the results were under 3 million. Further, what happens when you introduce a third option: No opinion? That's a very real possibility, that most people do not care.

Ultimately, one of the biggest obstacles Vine faces is whether TikTok is actually banned. After all, considering TikTok is among the biggest apps today, Vine would have an uphill battle, especially since it would be competing with YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels as well as the recently announced TikTok Notes. Without the algorithmical expertise that has made these platforms so successful, a Vine reboot has everything to lose.

Is TikTok getting banned?

Now, that's the million-dollar question here: is TikTok getting banned? The answer is that it's complicated. It has been argued that this is not a ban at all, as all it requires is that the owner - ByteDance - divest itself from ownership of TikTok and allow it to be purchased by a government-approved buyer. ByteDance, however, has argued otherwise, that it is a de facto ban.

If they do not divest, which it seems they may not, the app will be made unavailable on platforms such as the Google Play Store and Apple's App Store, but will still be usable on phones and available for download via third-party methods. If you already have TikTok downloaded on your phone, or you want to download it, it is still available.

How will the TikTok ban affect social media and digital marketing?

Social media websites are arguably the biggest opportunity for companies to do B2B social media marketing, and it makes sense, since it's the best way to reach potential conversions directly. Since TikTok is such a large platform, it's inevitably been a major site for social media marketers, and any such ban would obviously make a big impact on their bottom line. Under a ban, TikTok marketing would either have to involve marketing to a smaller US-based audience, or shifting focus to a different platform to reach your audience, which we may see happen as more is made public about the new TikTok Notes app.

Consult ImageWorks Creative to help with social media and digital marketing

It's important to be flexible with your marketing plan, but it doesn't make it any less stressful. If you need help getting momentum with your marketing, just contact us at ImageWorks Creative to get started!

Joseph Anthony

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