Tuesday, June 04, 2013

16-year-old web designer RickRolls Vine

A 16-year-old web developer managed to RickRoll Vine on Monday, the same day that Twitter announced Vine for Android. In posting the over three-minute-long video, Will Smidlein exceeded the video-sharing app's six-second upload limit, though he didn't really break Vine as his tweet asserted.

The Vine post is gone -- removed by Smidlein at the behest of Twitter -- but the tweet remains:
I think I broke Vine.

The definition of RickRoll is “linking to a video of Rick Astley singing ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ instead of to anything that might be relevant to the discussion, a practice the Internet has traditionally found limitlessly amusing.”

We've included the official version of the song, below, for your viewing pleasure.

Apparently, after the Android version was released Smidlein decompiled the app. After recompiling portions of the Vine API to use in his RickRolling, he downloaded the "Never Gonna Give You Up" music video (easy to do from YouTube) and then posted the file to Vine's servers.

Smidlein said that he was later direct messaged on Twitter and asked to remove the video. Various reports say that either he did so in response or that Twitter removed the video itself; it's unclear.

Smidlein never expected the post to go viral. He said
Honestly, it was just for my friends and the people who follow me on Twitter and Vine.
The publicity may not be bad for him in the future. Although unrelated to the viral video, and preceding it, he will be starting a summer internship at Pocket, the read-it-later service, in about two weeks.

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