Vine Kids was released recently and while it was unexpected, it also makes complete sense. Vine Kids is the gateway drug to get kids hooked on the notion of snackable, short-form video and then take them through the Twitter owned ecosystem from Vine all the way to Twitter video. Think of Vine Kids as the dopamine of the short-form video space. And if it ends up bringing Twitter more users and helps them in some way to solve user acquisition and retention problems then everyone stands to gain.
It's aimed at kids, natch, but I must admit I enjoyed giving it a road test and seeing how much love has gone in to this, yet still how bare it is. It's delightfully minimal. The look and feel of it is much like the Toca Boca series of games which seems to have had a strong influence on Andre Sala, who came up with the idea for Vine Kids during an internal hack week so he could safely allow his two year old daughter to use Vine without any adult content showing up.
Instead of scrolling down a newsfeed on vine and not knowing what's going to come next, Vine solved that problem by curating the experience so there will be no surprises and it provides a safe haven app for who want to be entertained. You can also swipe left and right instead, a very natural Tinder-esque experience (but of course they'll be too young to know what that is!)
Short-form video content that can be seen within the app includes animated characters, cats and doings doing amusing things and Sesame Street clips. When you tap the screen anywhere it also plays cute sound effects to keep your attention.
“The idea came about during an office conversation in early January,” said Twitter’s head of communication and marketing Carolyn Penner in a blog post. “One of my colleagues was talking about how much his two-year-old daughter loves Vine –– he said he wished there was a separate app she could use to more easily watch posts that are appropriate for kids.”
"That week happened to be Hack Week, a time when we get to work on projects outside of our day-to-day work," says Penner. "So two folks teamed up and built exactly that."
With Twitter Video also just announced, there’s a great opportunity here for Twitter, to get kids hooked in early on Vine through Vine Kids, and take them through from six seconds right the way through to thirty seconds.
Vine Kids is recommended for kids five-and-under but I did have some fun with it too, at 28 years and seven months old.
Michael Litman is founder of branded video content specialist Burst.
Check out The Drum's weekly Vine Chart, created in association with Burst each Friday.