Is the Twitter Video App ‘Vine’ Safe for Kids?

Twitter’s new video-sharing app Vine is the hottest mobile toy since Instagram—and to be honest—it’s even more fun. Still, parents need to keep Vine on their radar as the popular social network evolves.


Vine allows users to create super-easy, six-second video clips to share with friends on Facebook, Twitter and Vine. All users do is point and click the video player on your phone at your subject in 1-6 second increments. The app generates a rolling animated GIF-type video to share. Other users or “followers” can comment on the video or give it a “like.”

When Vine first released earlier this year, users ardently criticized its lack of filtering and pornographic content that randomly appeared in feeds. But since then Vine has responded to the mass complaints by blocking searches for pornographic terms and it changed its age rating from 12 to 17. (However, like any other app or social network, the age limit is bypassed with a simple “OK” click by a user of any age.)

Our advice to parents is similar to our warnings on Twitter and Instagram:

  • Require your kids to abide by the age restrictions—they are in place for a reason.
  • For those over 17, beware of videos (and comments) containing crude joking, sexual references, and hashtags, avatars and bios that contain sexual or profane content.
  • If your 17 year-old has an account follow him or her and coach them in their content.
  • The app is growing in popularity and your younger kids will be begging to download it soon. We suggest you open your own Vine account (it’s fun!) and let your younger kids use it withsupervision. The app is an exciting foray into video for newbies and can be a creative, inspiring learning tool for kids.
  • While some of the videos are mundane, you will discover incredibly creative, abbreviated filmmaking in the “Popular Now” and “Editor’s Picks” section, which will be entertaining to view with your kids.

Unlike YouTube, the cool videos you find on Vine cannot be embedded or shared outside of Vine, except by the video’s creator and then it can only be shared on Facebook and Twitter. So, you will be required to participate in the Vine community if you want to make Vine videos. Currently the app is available for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.

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