Just days after Twitter’s video sharing app Vine was slapped with a 17+ rating following pornographic related controversy, Vimeo stiffened competition in the app video sharing space by announcing its purchase of Echograph. Like Vine, Echograph is an iOS app focused on creating short, animated, looping clips.
Even before last week there had been several complaints that people were sharing porn through Vine, which belied its 12+ rating. Now that Vimeo are teaming up with Echograph and focusing on a similar demographic that made Instagram so successful, it’s going to make life more difficult for Twitter’s new acquisition. So what can Echograph/Vimeo learn from Vine’s mistakes?
Require Users to Verify Age
To avoid the same issues Vine faced, Echograph will need to ensure users verify their age before they gain access to the app and are shown filtered content where necessary. Vine can now only offer the app to users who verify they are over 17. Only then the app will start up. However, as there is no effective way to check a person’s age through devices, this rule is based on the ‘honor’ system. In effect, underage people can still access the app by simply lying about their age. It’s not like they won’t be able to use it at all.
Create Content Filters
The age restriction wasn’t the only update the guys at Vine had to make. The app has also got content blocking features so adult content wouldn’t be shown to users if they chose not to view it. This is something Echograph will need to ensure they don’t get slapped with a higher age rating too.
Enhanced Security Features
Being able to report or block users who upload offensive content will also prevent repeat negative user experience. Vine allows you to simply visit a users profile and block, or share, his/her profile. You can also block individual videos you find offensive. Vine then users a review team to check flagged content and decide whether it should be removed or clarify that it follows their ethical guidelines and let it stay on the app.
Vine Not the First App to Get Sanctioned
If you are thinking that Vine is the first iOS app which has been sanctioned because of inappropriate content, you couldn’t be more wrong. There are at least 8 other apps which have suffered a similar fate, some even worse. In fact, the photo sharing app 500px was banned from the App Store once nude pictures were discovered on it. The bottom-line is that apps have to stay on the right side of Apple’s policies to remain available in the App Store.