What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that MixBit is a social video creation app designed by the creators of YouTube that, unlike other video sharing apps like Vine, Viddy, and Instagram, lets teens blend their original video clips with those created by other MixBit users. Teens aren't required to have a user-generated, web-based MixBit account to compile original projects, but they'll need one to add borrowed clips to their own projects. Facebook or Twitter accounts are required to share and post video creations from MixBit. The app's developers require MixBit users to be 13 years of age or older, and they don't regularly monitor use, or review or edit any content that users publish.
What's it about?
Teens gather video from three sources: their in-app camera, clips from their camera roll, or clips borrowed from other MixBit users. Then teens can record, edit, and publish projects ranging from one second to one hour in length. Individual clips can be up to 16 seconds long. Final projects can contain up to 256 clips, totaling one hour. Clips are saved in-app and, if registered, to a web-based MixBit account. MixBit lets teens freely borrow clips from other users, and encourages sharing via Facebook and Twitter.
Is it any good?
MIXBIT exemplifies the social aspect of social video by letting teens piece together original video clips with those from other MixBit users to create longer, collaborative projects. The app shines in three ways: First, with its ability to handle longer video clips of up to 16 seconds. Second, by letting teens stitch together up to an hour's worth of clips. And last, through its collaborative, mashup approach to creating and sharing social video. Teens can create MixBit projects in-app without a web-based MixBit account, but they'll encounter the true powers (and possible pitfalls) of the app if they create one. Similarly, it's only from a web-based MixBit account that teens can add borrowed clips to their own MixBit creations. There are no social commuity features in the app, so teens can't like, follow, or even comment on videos. There aren't even usernames associated with videos, just titles and hashtag keywords.
The app's lack of video filters may hinder creative potential, and the absence of in-app video transitions does make for choppy, sometimes dizzying cuts. Still, MixBit is uniquely great for creating long video projects, and the option to use other people's clips opens up worlds of possibilities for individual and collaborative expression.
Families can talk about...
Talk with teens about the benefits and pitfalls of using social media. Check out Common Sense Media's Teens on Social Media report to find out why social media is such a big part of your teen's life.
Encourage teens to follow good netiquette and consider allowing them a certain level of independence with MixBit. Help kids channel their creativity in positive and productive ways with Common Sense Media's Creating with Digital Media.