Do you remember the good old days of Vine? When you’d see a video that was merely six seconds but still somehow dug its way into your subconscious thoughts? When you were in high school and one of the biggest lunchtime topics was discussing the Vines that kept us up until 1 am? Just me? Okay. Sadly, the site closed its doors in 2016, making people wonder if they’d ever get to enjoy bite-sized videos the same way again. But then, TikTok entered the picture.
First, let’s back up and ask how Vine went from being wildly successful to a complete failure. Many experts say that when other social media platforms started introducing new features, it became difficult for Vine to keep up.
Casey Newton from The Verge explains, “Former executives say that a major competitive challenge emerged in the form of Instagram, which introduced 15-second video clips in June 2013. Instagram courted celebrities with longer videos, eventually bumping the limit to a more flexible 60 seconds.”
Instagram’s not the only social media platform that drove Vine off the web. Newton continues, “Meanwhile Snapchat, which allowed users to send each other 10-second video clips and (later) broadcast them publicly, ultimately became the casual mass-market lifecasting app that Vine’s founders had once pitched their product to Twitter as.”
It became clear that Vine could not battle with the onslaught of social media platforms offering video content to users. Vine’s avid followers came to terms with the fact that they’d never get to experience anything similar to their beloved app. Or, would they?
TikTok is the longer alternative to Vine with videos that can extend all the way to 60 seconds. Though TikTok videos are typically longer than Vine’s content, both apps follow a similar formula. In the same way that young social media users gravitated towards Vine, many Gen Z youth are finding the same excitement and entertainment in TikTok.
Dmitry Shapiro shares with Forbes, “TikTok has been a success because Vine was a success. The model was already proven. It was essentially the same concept. What further propelled the growth of TikTok was the need for teenagers to get off Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat and have a place of their own where their parents couldn’t see what they were up to. This app is fun, it’s an outlet and something different than what currently exists, although the concept is really not entirely new.”
TikTok has managed to create an even tighter-knit community that was once found on Vine. It’s become a cultural phenomenon where young users can express themselves and collaborate with other members of their generation. Plus, it’s an easy-to-use platform that encourages trend-setting, remixing, and collaborating, all of which has contributed significantly to its success. With millions of users across the world, it seems there’s no stopping the platform. But if we’ve learned anything from Vine, all good things must come to an end. So, does the same apply to TikTok?
The site is set to reach 1.5 billion users this year according to Social Media Today. Other platforms have tried to compete with their skyrocketing growth by adding “reels” on Instagram and “shorts” on YouTube. However, unlike Vine, it doesn’t seem that TikTok will succumb to the pressure.
Andrew Hutchinson from Social Media Today says, “The key lies in its algorithm matching, which is still far better than any other platform at providing a never-ending stream of content that’s highly attuned to your specific interests. As anyone who’s used TikTok a few times will know, the customized ‘For You’ feed of videos that you’ll likely be interested in is very addictive, and very good at quickly aligning with your personal interests.”
The ease of TikTok, its collaborative nature, and its ability to help users find their niche community are all factors that continue to keep the platform successful. TikTok definitely followed a formula created by Vine, but also added its own enhancements to set itself apart from the rest.
While nobody can predict the crazy world of social media, it’s probably safe to say that we’ll be glancing down at our TikTok for the near future. How do you feel about TikTok’s continued success — relieved, annoyed? For me personally, any excuse to watch more pet videos is a win.