February 24, 2012
Apple has pulled Viddy, the mobile video-sharing app, from the App Store. First released last April, Viddy allowed users to post short video clips, which could then be posted for others to see using different social networking sites. Apparently, some of those videos have become too spicy for some, according to Gigaom. According to the report, Apple is concerned that the service has taken a decidedly adult turn, despite Viddy’s implementation of filters to protect young eyes from questionable content. Called a “simple way for anyone to capture, product, and share beautiful videos with the world,” by its creators, Viddy burst onto the scene as a cross between Hipstamatic and Instagram. In recent months, celebrity users such as Snoop Dogg, Linkin Park and Bill Cosby had promoted it. As late as yesterday, the free app was one of the top five in the App Store's photo and video category. In addition, Viddy has a lot of funding behind it. Just recently, for example, $6 million was raised in capital from Battery Ventures, Greycroft Ventures and Qualcomm. Viddy is said to be working closely with Apple to resolve the issue and get the app back online. As an original Viddy user, I find Apple’s move to remove Viddy from the App Store unwarranted. While I found some suggestive material out there, nothing, in my opinion anyway, was close to being defined as porn. In fact, I’ve gotten the impression that most, if not all, of the app’s users have gone out of their way to make the site as family-friendly as possible. It should be noted that on April 16, 2011, we called Viddy our “Best iPhone App of the Week.” My suggestion for Apple: Instead of picking on Viddy, perhaps the censors running the App Store should put their energies into eliminating something much more worrisome, that being the increasing number of scam and/or fake apps that call the App Store home. After all, viewing porn on an iDevice remains as simple as surfing to a website through Mobile Safari or another browser app. Hopefully, Viddy will return to the App Store soon. In the meantime, current Viddy customers should have no problem using the service. Just don’t delete the app from your iPhone! Should Apple have pulled Viddy, or has Apple overreached?