Twitter cuts staff numbers, Vine video app

Twitter has struggled to generate advertising revenue from Vine (Getty)
Twitter has struggled to generate advertising revenue from Vine (Getty)

Twitter has announced it will axe its video sharing app Vine and cut 9 percent of its workforce.

The social media platform has been struggling to become profitable and has confirmed it will cut almost 350 jobs. That follows cuts of around 300 last year.

Twitter also issued a statement saying it will discontinue Vine in "the coming months".

Twitter bought Vine in 2012. The app allows people to share six-second videos. It grew rapidly, attracting as many as 200 million monthly users. But it has faced increasing competition from the likes of YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.

Twitter has also struggled to generate advertising revenue from Vine.

Twitter issued a statement saying that "nothing is happening to the apps, website or your Vines today. We value you, your Vines, and are going to do this the right way. You'll be able to access and download your Vines. We'll be keeping the website online because we think it's important to still be able to watch all the incredible Vines that have been made. You will be notified before we make any changes to the app or website."

Twitter has been increasing its emphasis on video within the Twitter app, with users able to directly access videos from Periscope.

The announcements about Vine and the job losses were released along with Twitter's latest earnings report. Twitter's revenue was better than expected, with the company generating US$616 million in three months. Its earnings per share was 13 cents, ahead of analyst estimates of nine9 cents.

User numbers were also up, with monthly active users rising to 317 million from 313 million in the previous quarter.

The share price rallied by 2 percent to US$17.65 after the result was released.

But neither earnings nor user numbers are growing at the pace investors want. The share price has fallen around 25 percent this year.

Its 317 million monthly active users compares to Facebook's 1.7 billion users. Instagram has 500 million monthly active users.

Snapchat releases daily user numbers, with the figure standing at 150 million. Twitter does not reveal daily user numbers, but back in June analysts suggested its daily user figures could be under 140 million.

The earnings report came just weeks after efforts to find a buyer for Twitter fell through. The stock price had rallied on reports that Salesforce, Alphabet (Google) or Disney might buy Twitter.

But the asking price - a likely US$20 billion - proved too much, and one by one the potential buyers walked away.


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