Vine has announced a new update that supports a variety of new features, including new ways to shoot and edit in the app. However, perhaps the most news-worthy (and emotional, for some users) new feature is the ability to upload (or ‘import’) clips from your phone’s camera roll directly into Vine.
This update is getting a mixed reaction, primarily from those who appreciated the limitations of creating Vines in-app. If you’re unfamiliar with the app, there was previously no upload feature available through Vine itself, although there were ways to circumvent this restriction by encoding video and navigating your phone’s filesystem, aka ‘hacking’ Vine. We’ll take a look at the official announcement video, and throw in our own two cents below.
From the Horse’s Mouth
The official announcement video from Vine, which accompanied their blog post.
Uploads vs. Natural
With the ability to upload directly to Vine, there is no longer a need for people to ‘hack’ Vine in order to post content created outside the app. One of the fears for this update is that without the barrier of having to hack to upload, Vine will be overrun with mediocre and non-native content. But the fact of the matter is that a lot of content on Vine was already being uploaded. Many of the larger Viners use uploaded content – some do so creatively, and some less-so – and whether you like it or not, uploads are already an integral part of life on Vine (anything with slow-mo, and continuous music over several shots that isn’t “sound stitched” was probably uploaded). While there may be more uploaded content on Vine post-update, it will only mean that people will start to look at what’s being done with a more critical eye. While the average user probably accepted most of what they saw on Vine as ‘All Natural,’ some of it just simply was not. To be sure, the update will result in some re-evaluations of what is actually interesting on Vine, but this might be a good thing.
All is Natural
The big implication though is that post-update, nothing is ‘fake’ and nothing is ‘natural.’ It would seem that it’s all fair game. So the only criteria left to judge content by is whether or not it is creative, or funny, or speaks to you. The update levels the playing field; no longer does uploaded need to be vilified simply because it is uploaded, and no longer is natural content more worthy of praise simply because it’s natural. A concession that must be made, of course, is that there IS something to be said for process – especially where art is concerned. How something is made does play a part in how it is assessed. And this is still possible on Vine post-update, the same way it was before the update. Using the #AllNaturalVines hashtag appropriately, flags your content as created purely in app. Creating a ‘behind the scenes’ video gives your audience a look at the pains you went to to create your art. And of course, there are the noticeable imperfections that only serve to endear us to Vine because we are aware of the craft needed to bring it to life.
Overall, I guess we’re not too concerned about a Vine with import capability. While our content has historically been created in-app, there are already some people doing really interesting things with uploaded content on Vine. The things we love the most about Vine – the 6 second max and the great community of creators – remain un-compromised, and that’s the important thing as far as we’re concerned. Let us know your thoughts in the comments!