Twitter has announced plans to shut down Vine, the once-trendy mobile app that lets users create and share six-second looping videos. Vine raised just $1 million from VCs including RRE Ventures and SV Angel before being acquired pre-launch by Twitter in 2012.
It's an unceremonious end for an app that initially grabbed the attention of the coveted millennial market. For a couple of years, Vine was a launchpad for internet stars who used the format in creative and hilarious ways. Much like Vine's videos, though, the success was short-lived. Often lured by financial incentives, its stars soon took their content-creation skills to other video platforms like Snapchat, YouTube and Instagram.
The shuttering of Vine may serve as a lesson to startup founders: Be careful who you court as potential acquirers. If Twitter was thriving instead of pursuing a sale, it seems unlikely the company would make this move. When the going gets tough and a company starts trimming the fat, your newly acquired startup and the resources that support it could be first to go.