Vine, Twitter’s video-sharing service, will start allowing users to upload video clips created elsewhere, alongside a series of changes to the app designed to make it easier to shoot the six-second videos the service shares.
While a number of unsupported tricks have let users upload videos created elsewhere to Vine, Wednesday’s change is the first time the app has officially supported the feature.
“Every day, millions of people open Vine to share memories in the moment,” the company says in a blogpost. “Today, Vine has unlocked a new camera that gives you the freedom to create a Vine in any way you want.”
The changes will help Vine build out its membership by letting new users skip a stage which has sometimes been a stumbling block: signing up when they have nothing to film.
While many first-time users may not be in the position to film something right away, they are likely to have at least one video on their phone which they do feel they can share. With the ability to upload that video to the service, they become an active user that much quicker, hopefully avoiding the longstanding difficulty parent firm Twitter has in encouraging new members to become active users.
That the new feature will also increase the general quality of the videos is another bonus for Vine, even if it does come with the risk of damaging the idiosyncratic visual language that has built up around the service.
Following in the footsteps of its parent company, Vine is also attempting to change the narrative around how to measure its success. The company hasn’t released user numbers for a year, since it confirmed it had 40 million registered users in August 2013, but in this latest update, it gives another figure: “Every month more than 100 million people watch Vines across the web and there are more than 1 billion loops every day.”
The focus on viewers, who may not be actively posting or even signed-up for the site, mirrors that of Twitter, which is also expected to reveal a new set of metrics for how to measure its own success.
As well as the ability to upload videos, Vine has introduced a few new tools to the built-in camera: users can now access a spirit level and flashlight while filming, and the focus-lock option will work within the app
“New camera tools offer more powerful ways to edit your videos, and you can now import existing videos from your phone and turn them into Vines. With this release, you have more control over what goes into your Vines and more freedom to manipulate your content – right within the app,” it says.
The new iOS version of Vine is out on Wednesday, and an Android update will follow.
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