Vine is the video app to watch. Twitter launched Vine in January and it now has over 40 million users. Vine sits at #10 on iTunes free app chart, right behind Instagram. What makes Vine different from other video apps is it has no special tricks, just sharing 6 seconds of video on a continuous loop. Vine has all sorts of videos ranging from the humorous and clever to the silly and stupid and finally the terribly offensive.
Vine takes after its founder Twitter; it is Twitter with video. One of the reasons, I think teens like it is there is no pressure to make a masterpiece. Vine has no special filters or editing tools, teens record 6 seconds of anything and either post it or delete it.
Like Twitter, Vine is a social network where you have followers and people you are following. Your followers can comment on or like your videos. Videos can be shared widely by revining them or posting them to Facebook or Twitter.
All Vine accounts are automatically public. This means, anyone can see your profile and videos and anyone can share them and post them outside of Vine. Now, you can choose to have a protected account. With a protected account, your videos are visible only to your approved followers and only you can share your videos. Users cannot choose to make some videos private and some public. Like Twitter, it is all or nothing.
To set up a protected account, tap on the bottom left corner and choose “settings”. In settings, select “your content” and turn on “Posts are private”. Here, users can also mark their account as sensitive for those sharing videos that are #nsfw (Not Safe For Work). Sensitive videos display a warning before users can play them.
Besides protected accounts, Vine offers a few other ways to manage your videofeed. You can block followers, delete comments and report inappropriate content.
Even with a public account, you can block a follower. To block a follower, go to their profile page and at the bottom tap on the 3 dots then choose “Block this Person”. Once someone is blocked, they cannot follow or see your profile. But, they can still view and comment on your video if it appears in the popular results for a search tag.
You can also delete comments including comments posted about your video. To delete, go to the comment section, highlight the comment and hit the red “x”. When you delete a comment it removes it from your followers feed. Although, if your account is public, your followers may have already shared it outside of Vine so no guarantees it is gone forever.
Parents should be aware the recommended age on iTunes is 17+. The reason for the age restriction is user generated content. Search #nsfw or #xxx and you will find vines you do not want your kids seeing. If kids search for porn on Vine, they will find it. If you are not looking for it, it is unlikely just to pop up. Unlike Tumblr, Vine does not suggest people to follow and Vine channels do not appear to contain these videos.
It is up to the creator to properly label their video as NSFW. You can report a “mislabeled” video by tapping the button with three dots at the bottom of the post and selecting “Report this post.”
Vine videos are all over the map. There are definitely people creating incredible 6 second videos. Among these gems are a lot of silly videos and some not for kid videos. Before letting you kid on, parents should download this app and check out some of the videos. If you decide your older teen is ready for Vine make sure they know about the privacy and safety controls available. If they want to go exploring, encourage them to stick to the Vine channels.
For more information on Vine, check out these other great resources.
- Twitter Help Center: Faqs about Vine
- Vine – what it is and what parents need to know by Yoursphere
- Commonsense Media’s Vine Review