Vine Video Sharing

vineVine is for video sharing, and the app works best on a mobile phone. Techies in the Twitter universe conceived and developed the app, and a user is supposed to be age 13 or older. Once a person sets up Vine on a mobile device, he or she creates and shares short videos with followers or the general public.

Vine Explore

The explore window features the post trending hashtags.

Just  as Twitter limits contributions to 140 characters, Vine videos also reflect this short and succinct philosophy, so a user is limited to six second clips. Videos can be organized and tagged with hashtags so it’s easy to search for a topic. Vine even has a blog on its site.

Author’s Note: I do not have an account. Instead I explored Vine with a friend who is an accomplished user.

A big reason that Instagram (owned by Facebook) added videos to its app features this year is because Vine (owned by Twitter) quickly grew into a strong social media competitor. A TechCrunch post, Instagram Video vs. Vine: What’s the Difference, offers some other comparative information. Read last year’s class-on-a-blog post about Instagram, Getting to Know Instagram and Getting Adults Up to Speed.

Two Quotes from the Vine Terms of Service Continue reading

Facebook vs. Google+

Google Facebook privacy

A portion of the Veracode infographic

Many parents and educators observe children (their own and friends’ kids — under age 13) using Facebook or Google+ and sometimes both. In the connected world, these social media sites are fun to use, and staying connected with friends and other people has never been easier.

While the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA) sets 13 as the legal age for users of these two social media sites, many adults don’t know about COPPA or don’t believe it is sensible enough to apply and enforce with their younger children. Thus many kids start using Google+ and Facebook at ages well below age 13.

One significant difference between the two social media sites is the way users handle friends and contacts. On Google+ a user cannot add a contact without putting the person into at least one circle (Google’s term for groups). A circle is a category that is set up and defined with certain characteristics — friends, school friends, work friends, business contacts, etc. When a Google+ user sends out a status update, he or she specifies the group or groups that will receive the updates — clear and easy for users to figure out right away. Continue reading

Getting to Know Instagram: Getting Adults Up to Speed

In a matter of weeks last spring quite a few older elementary and younger middle school children whom I know jumped on the Instragram bandwagon, and they continue to have fun with it. The social networking photography app, now owned by Facebook, lives on their wireless devices, making it easy to use without getting encumbered with computers. Just a few days ago a colleague of mine commented, “Instagram is the new Facebook!”

instagramThe minimum age for the Instagram app is 13 (COPPA regulations), but that hasn’t stopped the site from attracting many children younger than that, often with their parents’ permission. While I tend to be someone who takes age requirements seriously, many parents, after checking out various apps, are more comfortable than I am with letting their kids use sites when they are younger than 13 years of age.

The biggest challenge for adults is keeping an eye on the content and quality of the photos that their children are uploading to Instagram and sharing all over the place. Problems can occur when children err in judgement as they make decisions about what to share (and what not to share). Common Sense Media’s Jim Steyer, author of Talking Back to Facebook, speaking at GDS this week, described it as “…responding first rather than reflecting.”

What do children like about Instagram? Well, it’s instant.

Continue reading