'Vine' Video Service Threatened by Adult Content

Dennis Faas's picture

Twitter has launched a video-sharing service similar to YouTube but designed for people with shorter attention spans. Unfortunately, questions over adult content could spell doom for the service.

The service is called 'Vine' and is specifically designed for the Apple iPhone. It lets users upload and share a video clip of up to six seconds in length and then publish a link to the clip on Twitter.

The idea of a short clip service isn't new: rival application 'Tout' does the same thing but offers users 15 second previews. In both cases, it appears the idea is to minimize the amount of storage space needed by the operators, avoiding the huge costs that come with hosting lengthier video clips.

Six Second Limit Sparks Creativity

With Vine, it appears even a few seconds makes a lot of difference. Many users have concluded that there's very little that can be usefully contained in a six-second clip and have instead concentrated on creating montages of clips. (Source: cnet.com)

For those who don't have iPhones, several independent sites now display a permanent feed of randomly selected Vine videos, creating an effect somewhat similar to flicking through television channels. It seems likely that, for a few weeks at least, it will become a popular time-killer for bored office workers.

The problem is that wherever there's user-created content, there's adult content. Some users are uploading videos that are unsuitable for children and have labeled them with hashtags, or short codes that make it easy to find the clips when using the iPhone app to search.

Vine App May Breach iPhone Content Rules

That's a problem for Apple, which enforces a complete ban on apps that contain certain types of adult content. In the past this has applied to apps where the content comes from users and third parties; for example, a book app ran into problems because it allowed users to access the Kama Sutra.

For its part, Twitter allows users to report a clip as inappropriate. If enough people complain, a warning message is displayed before the clip can be played.

But it's unlikely that will satisfy Apple. If that proves to be the case, Apple may decide to simply terminate Vine. (Source: theatlanticwire.com)

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