A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Vine Kids is a toned-down version of Vine, the six-second-video service owned by Twitter. Users can't upload their own videos, but they can watch an assortment of kid-friendly clips, which often include puppies and kittens or bits from shows such as Sesame Street. The videos are hand-selected by the company to ensure that nothing inappropriate is shown, though there's still occasional mild cartoon violence and an apparently naked butt of a cutout alien. One video involves a cartoon seagull pooping on an animated letter A, something that kids will find hysterical but parents might wince at. Bottom line? If you're OK with your kids watching silly, inoffensive videos on sites such as YouTube, then you'll be fine with this.
What's it about?
In VINE KIDS, six-second videos are looped in frames held by shape-oriented characters. Kids can poke the characters to have them make funny sounds or swipe the screen to move on to the next video. Many of the clips contain animals, animation, or kids being cute and silly. At the time of this review, there were a little over 70 clips that kids can swipe through on a continuous loop.
Is it any good?
The good news is that the content in Vine Kids does appear to be carefully screened by parent company Twitter, meaning kids absolutely aren't exposed to the many inappropriate videos on the main Vine service. In addition to being universally tame, some of the videos aren't only kid-friendly, they're family-friendly -- so you could have fun watching those along with your kids. For example, there are adorable clips of kids singing or playing with their parents. But others involve bright flashing colors and loud music or sounds -- such as a face with moving, Day-Glo-style rainbow colors -- which may be less appealing. And there are a few that might even leave you wincing, such as Claymation birds pooping. Also of note: It might be tricky to regain a child's attention after he or she starts watching, so you may need to set some time limits.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what makes something funny or not. Which clips/videos made you laugh? Which didn't? What sets them apart?
Discuss the pros and cons of such short video clips. Why are they fun to watch? Would it be more fun if the videos were longer?
Talk about the original Vine app and why the creators might have made a kid-friendly version. Why make a separate app?
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