Vine for Android launches, is rickrolled
MANILA, Philippines - Vine is no stranger to short, viral videos. It may know the rules to getting acquired by Twitter and having a hit iOS app, but it didn't expect one intrepid coder to bring Rick Astley to Vine on the launch of its Android app.
Vine announced its Android iteration on Monday, June 3, noting that it had also garnered a 13 million-strong userbase.
The announcement of the Android version of Vine notes that it has most of the iOS app's features. Aside from the ability to make videos and find popular video posts, the Android version comes with the standard social networking functions, such as friend-finding, invitations to non-users, and Twitter sharing.
Vine on Android also sports unique tweaks, such as zooming for supported devices, and better offline browsing.
The launch, however, wasn't without an amusing development all its own. The Verge writes that in the hours following the launch of Vine for Android, web developer Will Smidlein was able to break the 6-second limitation of Vine.
Smidlein decompiled and recreated portions of the app, allowing him to upload Rick Astley's complete music video for "Never Gonna Give You Up" to the service.
While the rickroll, slang for the act of inadvertently getting people to watch the Astley video, was taken down eventually, the Vine video did go viral for the short while it was on. It was enough to gain the notice of an engineer at Twitter, who sent him a polite direct message to remove the post, though by then it was too late.
Smidlein apologized via Twitter and wrote a post (mirror here) about how the virality grew, noting that he felt "awful for the engineers whose day I ruined with my stupid messing around."
Sorry, Twitter/Vine engineers. I tried to keep it quiet, but the internet never forgets.— Will Smidlein (@ws) June 3, 2013
I truly feel awful for the engineers whose day I ruined with my stupid messing around.— Will Smidlein (@ws) June 3, 2013
Despite this, Smidlein does appear to be in good spirits, as he'll be starting a summer internship with the folks at Pocket. He also plans on writing a postmortem on what he did after Vine does some patching. - Rappler.com