Recently there has been a relatively bipartisan effort to move toward banning or seriously regulating the popular social media app/site TikTok. TikTok offers users the ability to create and share short-form video content which reaches a wide audience of both active followers and passive individuals who TikTok’s famous algorithm has deemed interested in a user’s content. It also offers the option to do live streams and send messages between users.
There is no app doing what TikTok is doing, not that they haven’t tried. Instagram has “reels,” SnapChat has some kind of video functionality, and GETTR has “visions” but none of those apps achieve the same level of user engagement and viral content potential as TikTok in the context of short-form video and that’s simply a fact. The very element which strikes fear in the heart of American lawmakers, its extremely sensitive and intuitive user behavior algorithm, is what makes TikTok so successful not to mention its easy user interface and its image and sound database.
Putting aside the fact that the fear and outrage over TikTok is an embarrassing overreaction and misdirect of concern (China is becoming more powerful but is the social media app the problem or their control over strategic minerals, the financial markets and their secret weapons program?) some American lawmakers have been urging new Twitter owner, Elon Musk, to bring back one of Twitter’s shelved assets, Vine, to compete with TikTok or perhaps replace it.
Vine was an early iteration of short-form videos or “microblogging.” The structure and format of the user experience were the most similar to TikTok of any other app or site out there even today. Vine was shut down by its parent, Twitter in 2016 for its lackluster monetization and inability to support and promote popular content creators. The seemingly small but relatively major change which aided TikTok in its rise to success was the choice to make videos 15 seconds instead of 6 which was the limit on Vine. Subsequently, TikTok has added a feature for 1 and 3 minute videos. Vine also didn’t have the well of video editing features in-app which TikTok readily provides (this is a major drawback across all of the other competitors).
But the technological offerings of the two platforms could be changed and debated in the marketplace for years. What I’m here to ask is: which one has better videos?
Let’s compare top content from TikTok and Vine:
Vine’s iconic, “Blocking out the haters” video by Brandon Bowen. Click here to view.
“I’m sorry I didn’t see you there, I was too busy mmmblocking out the haters.” 10/10. I quote this daily.
TikTok’s Chipmunk filling cheeks by Chipmonksoftiktok. Click here to view.
Extremely mesmerizing footage of a tiny chipmunk absolutely stuffing his face. It has about 300 million views.
Vine’s Yaaas Cat by Black Welch. View here.
This cat’s meow sounds like “yahhs” and there is nothing funnier on planet earth.
TikTok’s Trying Kombucha video by Britney_Broski. Click here to view.
This extremely memeable video is hysterical and can/has been used to describe our reactions to a myriad of different new things.
Vine’s screaming duck army by Charlie Murphy
When you squeeze a bunch of ducks they scream and that’s the world we live in.
TikTok’s Corn Kid Remix by Schmoyoho. Click here to view.
There is nothing more pure and more inspiration than this boy’s love of corn set to lively music. It’s corn. It’s got the juice. It’s got the juice, America.
Vine’s ‘Damn Daniel’ by Josholzz
A friend films his friend’s outfits (primarily shoes) and says “Damn, Daniel” in a funny way and therefore we are captivated.
TikTok’s Joe Biden Mental Focus Trend started by Memezar. Click here to view original.
This one technically you could have caught on the “news” or whatever but its life on TikTok with people using this sound to create their own hilarious videos is a lot better.
Vine’s Xgames Mode by She_skin. Click here to watch.
“He on Xgames mode” lives on as a popular sound on TikTok to use when someone does anything minimally athletic. Gold.
Vine’s parking lot dance (the Maraschino step) by Sione Maraschino. Click here to view.
The absolutely mesmerizing dance moves inspire us all to live our best lives even in the parking lot.
TikTok’s courtroom transcript reads by Rebmasel. Click here to see one of my faves.
This real life lawyer uses her spare time to entertain us all with the hilarious antics of real life courts of law. It’s a treat.
So who is better?
Ultimately, Vine paved the way for the comedy and treasure of TikTok and could make a big comeback if they allow for longer videos and higher monetization. But as of now between Corn Kid and Joe Biden’s trend, I’m not sure we can in good faith give the crown to anyone but TikTok. After reviewing these extremely popular videos I hope everyone knows how dangerous TikTok really is, which is to say not really at all.