IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Oops! Twitter's new video-sharing 'Vine' lacks privacy settings


Twitter's new video-sharing service Vine feels a lot like Instagram for videos. It's neat, easy to use, and can produce fun clips. Just one problem: There are no privacy settings whatsoever.

Right now, you can create and share Vine videos using an iOS app only. All you have to do is point your iPhone (or iPod Touch) at something and press your finger to the screen to record a clip up to six seconds in length (both sound and motion are captured, of course). Once satisfied with your final product, you can share it to Vine, Twitter and Facebook. 

Unfortunately as soon as you post the clip to Vine, you've lost any control over who views it or interacts with it. There's no way to create a private Vine account nor can you choose who may follow you or view your profile on the video-sharing service. And while you can delete comments from your Vine posts, there's no way to block or report abusive users. (Though you can report videos as inappropriate.)

NBC News asked Twitter about the lack of privacy settings on Vine, and we were pointed to the service's Help site, which confirms what we've experienced.  "Profiles and videos on Vine are public, and anyone on the service can view them," a note declares before clarifying that you can certainly use Vine to create a video and save it to your Camera Roll rather than sharing it. But this isn't enough to satisfy our need for actual privacy controls. We're instead left with the promise that the team behind the service will "add more ways for you to control the visibility of your content in a future version of Vine." 

Want more tech news or interesting links? You'll get plenty of both if you keep up with Rosa Golijan, the writer of this post, by following her on Twitter, subscribing to her Facebook posts, or circling her on Google+.