SCANDAL-HIT Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg had a personal hand in taking down one of his company’s biggest rivals.
Just hours after Twitter launched Vine, a video-sharing app that collapsed in 2016, the 34-year-old green-lit a ruthless project to strangle its access to Facebook data.
The decision meant new Vine users could no longer find friends to connect with via Facebook, stripping the app of a key tool to help grow its user base.
Leaked emails show a conversation between billionaire Zuckerberg and Facebook Vice President Justin Osofsky the day the app went live in January 2013.
Osofsky wrote: “Twitter launched Vine today which lets you shoot multiple short video segments to make one single, 6-second video.
“As part of their NUX [New User Experience], you can find friends via Facebook.
“Unless anyone raises objections, we will shut down their friends API access today. We’ve prepared reactive PR, and I will let Jana know our decision.”
Slippery Zuck coldly responded: “Yup, go for it.”
The leaked emails were revealed as part of a cache of files made public by a Commons fake news inquiry this week.
The parliamentary committee published around 250 pages of confidential files brought to light by US software company Six4Three, which were gathered as part of a legal case against Facebook.
A Facebook statement said: “The documents Six4Three gathered for their baseless case are only part of the story and are presented in a way that is very misleading without additional context.
“We stand by the platform changes we made in 2015 to stop a person from sharing their friends’ data with developers.
“Like any business, we had many internal conversations about the various ways we could build a sustainable business model for our platform. But the facts are clear: We’ve never sold people’s data.”
Vine was bought by Twitter for a reported £24 million in October 2012, and launched just three months later.
The app, which allowed users to create short-form videos up to six seconds long, boasted 200 million monthly users by December 2015, including controversial stars Sam Pepper and Logan Paul.
Less than a year later, Twitter announced it was shutting down Vine, after the app’s directors struggled to find ways to make money off of its huge user base.
Dom Hofmann, the founder of Vine, announced he is reviving the app less than two years after it was canned.
The new app is named Byte, which is tech jargon for a small unit of computer storage, and will launch in Spring 2019.
Do you think Byte will be a success?
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