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New video app Zynn pays users to watch

There’s a new video app attracting thousands of new users with one powerful feature.

Zynn is the newest player in the social video sharing app world. It’s features and layout look nearly identical to rival video app, Tik Tok.

If you’re unfamiliar with platforms like Tik Tok, they’re used to create and share short videos of people singing or lip-syncing, dancing, performing funny routines, and, with the help of some clever editing, sleight-of-hand magic tricks.

Like Tik Tok, most of videos on Zynn are less than 10 seconds long. Videos are in fixed vertical positions unlike other platforms that force horizontal or square formatting.

Then why is Zynn currently among the top 10 free apps on both Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store?

Simple. Zynn is paying us to watch.

Although Zynn’s interface is similar to Tik Tok’s navigation and interactive features, paying people to watch videos is a powerful enough feature to at least get people to try the app.

There isn’t a catch, but it’s also not a get-rich-quick scheme. I made 27 cents after about 15 minutes. And, quite frankly, 15 minutes was about all I could take. I’m sure my kids could watch hours of this stuff — which, as a parent, creates other issues that I’ll get to later.

It’s not the only way Zynn pays its users. We can earn a few pennies by watching for a few minutes, but we also get $1 for signing up. We can earn additional cash for each additional new user we recommend, although the people we recommend actually have to sign up in order for us to earn.

Remember, too, that while Zynn (a “free” app) is paying us, they’re also capturing our data. They claim our data will not be sold to third parties, but they’ll know more about the videos we like, how long we watch, and how we interact with videos and other users.

Zynn’s interface includes a timer icon with a dollar sign that sits in the upper righthand corner of the screen. That’s important to note for people who are creating videos for the new platform (e.g., don’t do anything you want users to see in that area).

Think of it like an hourglass that fills up with time as opposed to running out. It’s filling with points as you watch. Those points convert into cash (e.g., my 2700-plus points converted into 27 cents).

You don’t need an account to watch the videos, but you need an account if you want to cash out earned points.

Zynn has what appears to be a large library of music and effects for video creators. As we create videos, we can share them to other social platforms like Instagram and Snapchat.

The target audience for Zynn is the teen crowd, even if there are quite a few enjoyable creations for my age group (I like to classify my group as “older” these days).

Parents, download Zynn and give it a try so that you know how to talk to your kids about protecting their privacy and data. Although Zynn is rated for the teen (13-plus) crowd, there are no content filters, which means you might see a cute song-and-dance routine in one video and something more risque in the next.

Also, a chance to make money might make the app a little addictive for some users.

Dr. Adam Earnheardt is chair of the department of communication at Youngstown State University. Follow him on Twitter at @adamearn and on his blog at www.adam earn.com.

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