Vine update allowing users to import video clips marks big change for service

In a move that looks set to affect the quality and overall feel of the content on short-video service Vine, the iOS app now allows users to import existing video from other apps, while a number of new editing tools have also been introduced. Android users will have to wait a little longer for the update to reach them.

The Twitter-owned startup will be hoping the changes lead to a boost in its user base now that it offers far greater flexibility in how videos are created.

In a post announcing the new features, Vine iOS engineer Richard Plom said users, otherwise known as Viners, can now mix together several clips, including slow motion video shot with the iPhone 5S.

In addition, all videos – whether or not they were shot using the Vine app – can be knocked into shape with new editing tools such as the duplicate button and mute button.

“My favorite new tool is the preview and undo button,” Plom wrote. “With one tap, you can preview your last clip right from the capture screen, and if you don’t want to use it, you just tap the same button again to undo it.”

Related: Vine website gets major update

Tapping the wrench on the display brings up a second layer of camera tools, including focus lock (which now works with the front-facing camera as well as the rear), and ghost mode, which, according to Plom, “shows you the last frame of your previous shot and is super helpful for lining up shots.”

There’s also a new torch feature that helps with shooting in low-light conditions.

Some fans of the app may feel a touch uninspired about the changes, after all, part of Vine’s attraction was its simplicity and the challenge it presented in creating an engaging six-second video shot entirely on a smartphone in one go.

It’s true, there have always been workarounds that enabled the import of existing videos, but most Viners didn’t bother with them. Now that the feature is being offered as part of the app, users could be about to get a whole lot more innovative with their videos.

Brands, too, will have taken note of Wednesday’s development, as it gives them more creative possibilities should Vine go down the paid-ad route and start pushing marketed content users’ way.

In fact, Plom’s post included information that may well have caught the attention of potential partners when he said that each day more than 100 million people now watch over a billion loops on Vine across the Web.

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