Monday, March 4, 2013

What I See In Your Future, Vine (Voiceover, Android, And Front-Facing Camera)

The link to the full story is here

Dear Vine,

We’ve grown close over the last month. We’ve had so many great times together. You’ve helped me break news, have some LOLs, get creative, and even crowdsource information thanks to your awesome integration with Twitter.

But this isn’t about your parent, it’s about us. I want us to be better, and there are some things I need from you that I’m just not getting. I know that somewhere in there, deep in the code, lie the answers to my prayers. I even saw a Voiceover feature (something I’m desperate for) slide up as a button alongside the “Cancel” button after some sort of glitch, so I know you have it in you.

All that said, I’m writing you this letter, hoping it appeals to your sensitive side, so that we can move forward with an even stronger, more loving relationship than before.

Here’s what I want:

As an avid iPhone user, I’m not one to complain about iOS exclusives. But Vine is about connecting with friends, and considering Instagram’s growth after migrating to Android, I’d expect to see a lot more of my friends pop up on Vine once you guys build out an Android app.

I know it’s on the way, considering that Vine recently announced it was hiring a handful of developers, one of whom must be an Android engineer. It’s only a matter of time, but if I had to prioritize, I’d say an Android app should be on the top of the to-do list.

This seems obvious, but I’ll say it anyway: Vine needs a front-facing camera option. I’m not the only one who feels this way — this seems to be the most popular request in Vine’s iTunes reviews section. And it makes sense.

Vine is aimed at creative mobile video creation, which often means filming things other than yourself. This isn’t Snapchat, after all. However, creativity can only increase when you give users the option to switch between front and rear-facing cameras. The best case scenario would be the ability to switch back and forth while recording, but even if you had to choose between front or rear cameras for each Vine, it would be better than no option at all.

Hello!?! How am I supposed to make a Harlem Shake video on Vine if there’s no Voiceover feature?

Voiceover is when you add new audio to existing video. This could be music, a different voice, or other canned audio, but it’s value lies in the fact that it creates a more professional end-product and gives the creator more control.

Voiceover has always seemed like an attractive feature for Vine, but the other day, I realized that I’m probably not the only one thinking that. Vine has plenty of glitches and bugs right now, and somehow (I can’t seem to replicate it) I landed myself on a new menu, featuring “Voiceover” and “Edit” buttons.

(If you’d like to try to replicate, here’s what I did: I opened the app, which was not currently running, and clicked the camera/record button. I then decided I didn’t want to Vine, so I pressed the top right X button to cancel. Along with the usual big, red Cancel button, I also saw two grey buttons above it labeled “Voiceover” and “Edit.” If you see this happen, please email me at

After speaking with various iOS dev friends, I’ve learned that it’s absolutely plausible for Vine to have features already residing within the code that we just can’t see yet. Twitter does not comment on upcoming features, whether real or imagined, but I know what I saw.

Given this information, a voiceover feature makes perfect sense. Imagine being able to shoot your vine, and then go around once more adding a voiceover (music, your own voice, or whatever). It has to happen.

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