Vine Kids is loud, colorful, and everything a child wants from a smartphone
Vine has introduced a new mobile application dedicated to allowing children to watch six-second videos in an app that caters to their love of bright colors, weird sounds, and cartoon characters that will haunt their dreams a few years from now.
It's called Vine Kids. It seems like a desperate attempt to remind people Vine still exists -- the app once thought to be the future of news and entertainment has faded into the background, all but forgotten by the world at large -- and I fucking love it.
Or at least I would have a few years ago, when my nephew enjoyed repetition more than a NASCAR driver likes to turn left, and all he wanted to do was watch the same YouTube videos or straight-to-VHS children's shows over and over and over again.
And, as much as I didn't like having to clean his grubby fingerprints off my iPhone (children's hands are disgusting things and everything they touch should be cleansed with alcohol and holy water), I would've preferred Vine Kids over the other options.
Might that have eroded his attention span down to six seconds? Maybe. Could it have convinced him that reality is nothing but an endless loop waiting to be swiped away by some childlike deity holding a smartphone? Probably not, but it's possible.
All I know is that as much as my nephew liked playing games, watching videos, or chewing on my smartphone, he would've liked Vine Kids even more. It's bright. It's noisy. It's repetitive. It's everything small children like rolled into one mobile app.
Vine Kids could be a smart business move, too, as children and parents represent a valuable and difficult-to-target demographic coveted by advertisers. Vine hasn't yet monetized its blink-and-you've-missed-them length videos, but if it can find a way to build density within a single demo – Cheez-it covered munchkins, in this case – the company's conversations with advertisers could eventually go much differently.
But, then again, given the number of entertainment options available to kids, and considering the pace at which Vine is fading amongst their parents, that's no sure bet.
Still, I hope the damned thing will still be around when I have my own children. There's only so much "Barney," "Thomas the Tank Engine," and "SpongeBob Squarepants" a person can take in their life
, and I have far exceeded my limit.
[animated gif by Brad Jonas]