Since it was released in January 2013, Twitter-owned Vine has been a tool for capturing life in the moment. But as users have found more creative uses for the platform, that tool has increasingly felt lacking. Today, an update to Vinefor iOS tries to remedy that with a raft of new features for the camera aimed both at more serious and at more casual creators. (The update was supposed to come to Vine for Android today as well but was delayed at the last minute; expect it to come soon. No word on when these changes might come to Windows Phone.)
With the update, you can now import videos from your phone's camera roll — six seconds' worth of them, anyway. If you have multiple short videos, you can import all of them at once. And new editing features let you duplicate clips, mute them to create silent Vines, or quickly delete your most recent shot. The camera is also getting an optional grid, a level tool, a focus lock for the front and rear camera, a "torch" feature for shooting in dark settings, and "ghost" mode, which overlays the last frame of your previous shot on your current camera view. The new tools look likely to boost the production values on the service, where creators (and brands) are mounting increasingly sophisticated productions.
Twitter won't say how many active users Vine has; instead, it's saying that 100 million people watch Vines across the web — on Vine.co, Facebook, Twitter, and wherever else they might be embedded. It's part of a new effort from Twitter to emphasize the total audience for tweets and Vines rather than the smaller number of people who use its apps. "Growth is good," a spokeswoman tells us, though she wouldn't quite say how good. But with today's update, Vine now has an answer to Instagram's popular "latergrams" of pictures posted to the service long after they are taken. The latervines are now upon us, and they might just help Vine grow faster.