VSCO Jumps Into the GIF Game With DSCO

On Thursday, Visual Supply Company (makers of the immensely popular editing app, VSCO) announced the release of DSCO, their new app for creating short, GIF-like clips. I downloaded the app and spent some time with it today.

I'm a big fan of the VSCO app; it's straightforward, has a vast array of editing options, and offers some aesthetics that I've yet to replicate in other apps. Most importantly, it makes mobile photography fun. So when they jumped on the recent craze for short video clips (Apple's Live Photos, Instagram's Boomerang), I was eager to try it out. 

Before anything, I have to note that I say "GIF-like" because even though VSCO refers to them as GIFs, they're really short, choppy videos. When you first open the app, you're forced to either sign in or sign up for VSCO's network, after which you're taken to the recording screen. Swiping down with two fingers takes you to the settings screen, which really only contains one setting, the option to auto-save. Before beginning a clip, you can turn on the flash or switch to the front-facing camera, as well as tap to focus.. Recording is ultra simplistic as well; simply hold down the button and a rainbow-colored bar moves around the perimeter of the screen. Once it completes a loop (about three seconds), the video is complete.

After you finish recording a clip, your options are limited to six filters (four color, one black and white, and one limited edition filter that seems to solarize the clip). From there, you're forced to publish the clip to the VSCO network (unlike the image-editing app, where you can simply export your final product and use it as you wish). After that, you're given options to share the video, which basically creates a post with a link to the VSCO network page. 

Here's an example clip I made: 

You may have noticed I violated the cardinal rule of phone videography and shot this in portrait orientation. That's because on my first attempt, I filmed in landscape and was majorly bummed to discover that the app didn't recognize this and there's no way to rotate the video, meaning I was forced to either film in portrait orientation or post rotated landscape videos. That's definitely an oversight, in my opinion. I was also surprised that there are no editing options; you simply select one of six filters and post. No basic adjustments to exposure, contrast, color, or the like are allowed. There are also no native options to embed the video; we had to export the clip in this article, upload it to our servers, and write our own code to embed it. Seeing as other platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook provide their own embedding code, this was a little strange. Lastly the app is available only for iOS users. 

Overall, I'm excited that VSCO is jumping into the short video arena with their unique aesthetic, but I found today's release to be a bit lacking in features I've come to expect at this point. Hopefully, with new versions, these features will be added and we'll have another capable option to add to our video arsenal. 

Are you interested in trying out the app? Download it here and let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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Paulo Macedo's picture

I remember when gifs were used because we had 56k routers at home, and they would load "fast". This gif thing now, when we can record bits of video at 4K resolutions and have (like we have around here) 100MBit/s optic fiber networks, it becomes useless. imo

Andrew Stain's picture

So they pulled the plug on VSCO keys .....and made this nonsense