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It was a terrible day when Twitter announced its plans to shutter its six-second video looping app Vine. The app wasn’t just a GIF factory or a YouTube alternative. It had spawned a culture all its own, complete with its own set of stars. Suffice to say, we’re still crushed at its absence on our home screens.
One of Vine’s co-founders, Dom Hofmann, has given us a ray of hope, though. Hofmann recently tweeted that he’s working on a “followup” to Vine.
i'm going to work on a follow-up to vine. i've been feeling it myself for some time and have seen a lot of tweets, dms, etc.— dom hofmann (@dhof) November 30, 2017
Hofmann said he is just working on it as a side project for now and funding it himself. His tweet was met by many offers to invest and beta test the upcoming app (although mostly just from Vine fans, rather than big-name Silicon Valley venture capitalists).
Let me invest in it and back it— Brennen Taylor (@BrennenTaylor) November 30, 2017
I’m sending you money right now— Senan Byrne (@SenanByrne) December 1, 2017
Could you actually bring Vine itself back under that name? Or is it still owned by twitter? Seriously the internet is a black hole since it went. Even if its not vine but similar I’m very very excited 🙈— Daz Black (@daz_black) November 30, 2017
General enthusiasm aside, a follow-up to Vine could mean anything. It’s unlikely that Hofmann’s app would be an exact copycat of the original. And even if it does largely replicate the original app’s features, it’s also unlikely that this new project would bring the old Vine community back from the dead. It’s a different time. Even if all the same core users flocked to a new platform, it’d be more like a digital high school reunion than a time-traveling trip back to high school.
Still, there could be a place in our lives (and phones) for something Vine-like in the future. After closing the official Vine app in 2016, Twitter did give us a consolation prize in the app Vine Camera, but it lacks the original’s creative community and centralized feed. Twitter also gave former Vine users a way to download their old vines. A good thing, since Vine’s old servers seem to have since been cleared or repurposed.
As the former co-host of a Vine-based tech podcast, I will anxiously await Hofmann’s new project, in whatever form it takes. At best, we’ll get a new source of joy and entertainment in our digital lives. At worst, well, we already live in a Vine-less world, so it can’t be worse than that.
Christina Bonnington is a tech reporter who specializes in consumer gadgets, apps, and the trends shaping the technology industry. Her work has also appeared in Gizmodo, Wired, Refinery29, Slate, Bicycling, and Outside Magazine. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and has a background in electrical engineering.