Vine's looping videos can be an effective way of keeping kids entertained, but giving young ones unbridled access to the regular app probably isn't a great idea. So with that in mind, the company is today releasing Vine Kids, a version of the Vine experience that's tailored for young children — both in terms of design and content. Instead of greeting users with the regular, scrollable feed of videos, Vine Kids has a cast of "adorable animated characters" to help guide its junior target audience through using the app.
More Marnie, less Rudy Mancuso
Rather than scroll up and down, kids will swipe left and right to see new Vine videos pop up. Obviously a big question for parents revolves around curation: how exactly is Vine picking the clips that children are seeing? Is a person overseeing everything, or is Vine just putting trust in accounts like Nickelodeon and Disney? When asked, a spokesperson said that Vine Kids showcases clips "we've selected," so it sounds like there's a human somewhere making sure nothing unseemly makes it through to young eyes.
The idea for Vine came together in early January, when company employees expressed desire for a made-for-kids version of Twitter's six-second video app. Those discussions happened to coincide with Hack Week, which allowed two employees to take a break from their regular tasks and make Vine Kids a reality. But being a side project also means that Vine Kids is available only on iOS right now — and there's no guarantee Vine will ever take it elsewhere. Focusing on a kid-friendly experience is pretty clever, though, and something Instagram doesn't really bother with. If enough parents turn to the app as a quick gateway for family-friendly entertainment, perhaps we'll see it reach other platforms.