Elon Musk reportedly wants Twitter to bring back Vine

The video app shut down in 2016.

Elon Musk’s vision for Twitter may include bringing back Vine, the short-form video app the company shuttered in 2016. According to Axios, Twitter’s new “Chief Twit” told a group of engineers to work on a reboot that could be ready by the end of the year. The Verge’s Alex Heath, who was among the first to report that Musk was considering making the company’s Twitter Blue subscription mandatory for verified users, corroborated the news.

“I have also heard this, though unclear if Vine will actually be relaunched at this point,” he said. “Musk also has a lot of people telling him to just bake the experience into core Twitter.”

While we’re probably at the stage where Musk is contemplating any and all options, there’s certainly some evidence to suggest he is seriously considering bringing back Vine. Earlier today, he polled his 112 million Twitter followers to ask them if the company should reboot the app. When MrBeast, one of the most popular YouTube stars on the planet, said it would be “hilarious” if Musk did that and Vine went on to compete with TikTok, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO asked him “what could we do to make it better than TikTok?” Bringing back the platform would also certainly seem to align with Musk’s stated goal of transforming Twitter into a “super app” akin to China’s WeChat.

However, the timeline, like the one Musk reportedly set for monetizing Twitter’s verification feature, is likely unrealistic. According to Axios, the company hasn’t updated Vine since it shut down the app more than six years ago. "It needs a lot of work," one source told the outlet, referring to the software’s codebase. At this stage, it’s also hard to see the platform competing with TikTok and YouTube Shorts, even if it does come back. So much of TikTok’s success is a result of its “For You” algorithm which always seems to know what videos will keep you glued to the app. Vine never had anything comparable, and many of its most prolific creators have moved on to other platforms.