On January 23, 2013, Dick Costolo, then the CEO of Twitter, teased a new six-second video service with an oddly captivating clip showing how to make steak tartare. The next day, Twitter officially launched Vine, with the potential to put Twitter at the vanguard of mobile videos and establish it as a destination for more than just 140-character bursts of text.
The launch quickly caught the attention of Twitter’s chief rival, Facebook (FB). On the day Vine launched, Facebook (FB) VP Justin Osofsky wrote an email to CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The team, Osofsky said, planned to restrict Vine’s access to data that would let users invite their Facebook (FB) friends to join the app, likely helping it gain traction, “unless anyone raises objections.”
Zuckerberg’s response: “Yup, go for it.
The incident, illuminated by a collection of internal emails released by the U.K. Parliament at the end of last year, has been referenced in recent months by both the chairman of the House Antitrust Subcommittee and a Facebook cofounder as an example of when the company may have used its market dominance to undermine competitors. In the process, this case may help add fuel to mounting calls for antitrust scrutiny of Facebook and its tech giant peers.
Yet, Facebook’s decision to cut off Vine, like a number