Teen Web Developer Rickrolled a Full-Length Music Video on Vine


Cleveland, Ohio-based teen web developer Will Smidlein figured out how to post a full-length video on Vine, a video app that is built to max out videos at six seconds. He decided to bring back a popular meme, rickrolling, by using the 3-minute long video for Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up”. He reports that the Vine has been taken down by Vine’s parent company Twitter.


Will tells his story in a post titled “I Think I Broke Something: The Story Of Rickrolling Vine“:

My site seems to be down (because I never assumed I’d gain any popularity this quickly), so here’s a mirror of the post I just wrote:

This afternoon, I was messing around with Vine, the app purchased by Twitter to make video sharing easy.

It’s become massively popular among my friends, so I figured I’d confuse them a bit by posting something longer than 6 seconds.

I tinkered around and soon found out how they were doing video uploads. A bit more tinkering later, and I was able to upload a file directly. I’ll get to the actual hack at a later date, once it’s patched.

So, I had this new power, and I wasn’t quite sure it would work. I threw the only video file I had encoded correctly up, and sure enough, it worked.

I had Rickroll’d Vine.

The tweet got a little bit of attention, but I later deleted it after a request from a friend of a friend at Twitter engineering. This was a courtesy thing more than anything else.

A few hours later, I went AFK for a few minutes, and had received congrats, kudos, and interview requests from personal heros and internet celebrities.

I was mortified.

I had just ruined some poor engineer’s day.

I did my best to stop it, but once something is on the internet, it’s there for good.

I appreciate all the support, but I also ask that you 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 is a really well built concept, app, and service. They’ve scaled wonderfully, and I hope that people like me don’t discourage them to continue doing great things.

Thanks Paula!

Rusty Blazenhoff
Rusty Blazenhoff