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Hey, Vine users, heads up: All your videos are public

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Earlier today, Twitter released its hot new video-clip-sharing app, Vine, which allows users to record nifty six-second looped videos. Vine is neat, it’s fun, and could very well be addictive. But there’s something you all should know: All Vine videos and profiles are public, no exceptions.

From Vine’s “Help” page: “Profiles and videos on Vine are public, and anyone on the service can view them. If you use Vine to create a video and you choose not to share it on Vine, the video will be accessible only through the Camera Roll on your device. We will add more ways for you to control the visibility of your content in a future version of Vine.”

Now, don’t be fooled by the whole “anyone on the service” line. That doesn’t mean you have to be a Vine user to see Vine videos. In fact, you’re “on” the service right now. Just go to the Vine website, and voila! It’s that simple.

Making all Vine videos public is an interesting choice. On the one hand, you could criticize Twitter for not making the whole “everything’s public” thing more clear to Vine users. On the other, it’s healthy for people to assume that anything they do on social networks, even if allegedly “private,” is anything but. Private is the antithesis of social, and we would do well for ourselves to just assume that whatever we put out there is, well, out there.

Regardless, now you know that Vine is not a private social networking app. It’s totally, completely, 100 percent public. So keep that in mind before you get all Snapchat-y with it.

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