You've seen Vine remixes. A meme takes off on the platform, and suddenly everyone is adding their own twist. Sometimes it's imitation ("What are thooooooooose??!?"), other times appropriation (how many times have you seen the "Hotline Bling" video cut down to a six-second joke?), and often it's just recontextualization (the "Duck Army" scream, for example, over a new clip).
Vine is taking that last example and making it something you'll be able to do right from within the app. It's remix-as-a-feature.
On Wednesday, the six-second loop company rolled out an audio remixing option. It works like this: Viewers can take any Vine, select "create an audio remix," and pull the audio out of the Vine. Then, they can drop it on top of their own video, either by recording something new or by selecting an existing video. The end result is a mashup that will help memes propagate and proliferate across Vine.
This is Vine taking something that its hordes of quick-moving users already do and making it native to its own platform. Previously, the easiest way to make these kinds of Vines was with third-party video editing software like iMovie. It's also making it easier to locate the communities that spring up around specific memes, by including a discovery element to the app: Now you'll be able to click through to see Vines like the one you're watching, which will include a scrollable list of other Vine remixes.
The most helpful aspect of this is that it will also prominently feature the original Vine. The remixing community — and Vine in general — is often impenetrable to outsiders. It's sometimes hard, when seeing a Vine that's clearly riffing on something, to figure out what, exactly, the point is.
Now, when wondering why that cover of "Thinkin Bout You" with one wrong word and sung by Ariel is so funny to so many people, you'll be able to find the original Vine. Which brings you one step closer to deciphering what the joke really is. It also goes a long way toward helping establish original authorship. Who, exactly, kicked off a meme is often impenetrable.
It would make sense for Vine to roll out a similar feature in the future that helps automate video remixes. The company wouldn't comment as to whether such a thing might be in the works, but it seems like a logical step to take in the future.
The remixing feature rolls out today on iOS only. The discovery functionality will be available on both iOS and Android.
Brendan Klinkenberg is a tech reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco.
Contact Brendan Klinkenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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