What should parents know about Vine?

Vine is a social video-sharing website and app that features six-second looping videos created by its users. The service is owned by Twitter and is similar to Instagram's video feature, but it's singular purpose sets it apart in a market crowded with all-things-to-all-people apps. Vine only does video -- and creators pack lots of entertainment value into those six seconds. Most Vines are designed to be funny, and many are staged for the camera. Kids and teens love to follow, comment on, and share their favorite Vines.

The popularity of certain "Viners" among tweens and teens has caught the attention of big brands such as Coke and Herbal Essences. Vine stars including Brittany Furlan (who has 9.6 million followers) and King Bach (who has 13.9 million followers) have created sponsored videos -- which are really ads for the brand. Some Vine stars have received TV and movie deals too. But some of these same celebs have gotten into trouble for their Vines and for making off-the-cuff comments they've later had to apologize for.

In general, most of what you'll find on Vine is harmless. And some of it can be very creative. But you can easily stumble across iffy content, such as dangerous stunts, nudity, sex, drug use, offensive language, and more. The fact that the videos are so brief make them a bit easier to stomach. But Vine doesn't have a setting to filter out content. For younger kids, there's a curated version of the service called Vine Kids that serves up only age-appropriate content. 

If your kid wants to make and post videos, be aware that Vine has some significant privacy concerns. The videos you post, the accounts you follow, and the comments you make on videos all are public by default. Help your would-be Viners use privacy settings that limit who can find and follow their posts.

Learn more about the pros and cons of Vine and how to use it responsibly.

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Adult written by spacecat4

The Vine.co website has been shut down by it's parent company, twitter. The app has been changed to Vine Camera which allows you to create the short videos and then post them elsewhere (Facebook, YouTube, etc.)