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Twitter Launches Kid Friendly Vine App For iOS

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

It is raining kid friendly apps these days and parents are surely spoiled for choice. After Google announced the launch of a kid friendly version of its video service YouTube (appropriately named as YouTube Kids), another online giant has decided to follow suit. Social networking company Twitter recently unveiled a child friendly version of its video sharing service Vine. Dubbed as Vine Kids, the service is available only for iOS devices (iPhones and iPads) and can be downloaded from the iTunes store (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/vine-kids/id959063693?mt=8).

Vine was launched as an independent short-form video sharing service in 2012 before being acquired by Twitter. The service allows its users to record short looping videos (upto six seconds long) and publish them on the Vine network. Vine users can also check popular or trending videos recommended by Vine or browse through clips available in playlists or channels created by other users. Additionally, users have the option of sharing videos posted by others with their followers (the process known as revining) as well as posting videos on other social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

Due to the unique format of the service, Vine is immensely popular among kids, teenagers and adults alike. However, since the service also allows publishing of adult clips, there is a danger that objectionable content posted on the site could be viewed by young viewers. Indeed, soon after the service was launched, an adult clip was featured as “Editor’s Pick” by mistake which prompted Apple to change the rating of the Vine iOS app to 17+ category. It is perhaps this issue that Twitter is trying to address by launching a standalone kids version for Vine.

What Is Vine Kids?

Vine Kids offers an exciting way to watch kid-friendly videos available on Vine. The great thing about the app is that its content isn’t auto-generated; it is hand-picked by the Vine team to ensure that only age-appropriate videos make it to the list. Unlike the actual Vine app, there is no way to record and publish new videos but using the app itself is pretty simple. Kids can simply swipe left or right to watch a new video clip or tap on the screen to hear a sound. The idea for the app came when the team behind the service heard how popular Vine was among young kids but most parents also had concerns that their kids might get exposed to adult content through it.

Since Vine Kids is targeted towards kids (5+), Twitter needs to be ensure that it isn’t violating COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) through the app. Last year, FTC fined Yelp and TinyCo for collecting personal information from kids without the consent of their parents (as I had posted here -> https://vpncoupons.com/f-t-c-fines-yelp-tinyco-violating-underage-childrens-privacy/). The Vine team says that the new app doesn’t collect any type of personal information and users don’t even have to signup to watch the content available on it. So, it looks like Twitter is on safe ground here and kids can now spend hours watching cute and animated videos available on Vine Kids without getting exposed to objectionable content.

April 23, 2015

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