Vine rolled out its Android version early yesterday, but the real Internet rite of passage didn’t occur until the afternoon, when an intrepid teen Rickroll’d the six-second-video-sharing app.
Developer Will Smidlein, 16, was messing around with the app yesterday when he decided to confuse his friends by hacking Vine and creating a post that lasted longer than six seconds, he wrote in a blog post. Once he figured out how, he used his powers for good and posted what any self-respecting Internet-loving teen would: Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.”
“I threw the only video file I had encoded correctly up, and sure enough, it worked,” he wrote in a blog post. And there it was, a three-and-a-half minute loop of Rick Astley warbling his one hit.
Like most Internet things featuring “Never Gonna Give You Up,” the tweet linking to Mr. Smidlein’s Vine went viral.
But after it got some attention, he deleted it. Possibly scared Twitter might ground him, he told The Verge, “When a big engineer at Twitter asks you to take something down, you take it down.”
When the attention and interview requests began to pour in, Mr. Smidlein was “mortified,” he said, tweeting that he didn’t want to do any more interviews as he’d said all he was going to say to The Verge.
“I had just ruined some poor engineer’s day,” he wrote on his blog, adding with the gravitas of a starlet dealing with a nude pic leak, “but once something is on the Internet, it’s there for good.”
Mr. Smidlein asks that we denizens of the Internet “think of the dude who forgot a final check on his codebase before uploading, because I’ve been that guy. It sucks to have the whole Internet laughing at your mistake, and I hate that I’ve done that.”
Vine coder, wherever you are, know this: we’re laughing with your mistake, not at it.