Vine’s a great new video app, but kids need to be careful what they shoot

by Larry Magid

Vine is a fun new iPhone app from Twitter that has lots of people shooting and sharing very short videos.

Although it’s too early to know if this app will catch on with teens and tweens, my guess is that a lot of young people will find it appealing. Some people have called it “Instagram for video” because like Instagram (which lots of kids love), it’s easy to use and lets you immediately share what you’ve captured.

All you have to do to take a short video is press a camera icon at the top of the screen and then hold your finger on the screen while you shoot. You can remove your finger, re-aim the camera and press again to resume shooting.  When you’re done you’re given the chance to share the video on Vine (it can be viewed on the web or other Vine users’ phones) and share it on Twitter and Facebook.

Parents — I know what you’re thinking. This is one more ways for kids to get themselves in trouble by taking videos that perhaps they shouldn’t be taking and sharing. But, while Vine may be new, there are plenty of other smart phone apps that allow users to shoot still or video as well as easy ways to share it so — even though this is a new app — it’s by no means a new issue for parents to talk with their kids about.

As with any imaging app, kids need to know that they are accountable for what the post.  Yes, Vine can be used for sexting and kids need to know that there are potential legal consequences to posting or even possessing nude images of people under 18, even if it’s of themselves.  As with anything else, kids need to think before they post videos taken with Vine. has Tips to Prevent Sexting where we advise parents to “Talk with your kids about sexting in a relaxed setting” and “express how you feel in a conversational, non-confrontational way.”

Kids (and adults too) should also be aware of privacy implications of these videos for themselves and others. Be aware of what’s in the background of your shots and –regardless of what they are wearing — be sure to get permission from other people before including them in videos.

Here’s one of my first Vines, shot as I was taking our dog Yuri for a walk. By default the audio is off but you can turn it on by clicking the speaker in the right corner (though not much to listen to on this shot).


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