Vine versus TikTok, the eternal debate. Which is better? In his most recent video, Nathan Zed deconstructs the two platforms and explains why TikTok might just come out on top.
Nathan opens the video by pointing out that we all know there’s a lot of bad content on TikTok, and with his consequential surprise when, upon downloading the app, he realised, “This is low key fire.”
He then explains how our opinion of the app may be shaped by nostalgia, “Since Vine died, I’ve seen nothing but absolute praise for the app.” However, as he explains, there was nobody regularly using Vine upon it being shut down, with two-thirds of users having discontinued using it. “I’m tired of everyone acting like Vine was this sacred app, when 80 percent of it was low-key trash,” he says.
“If Vine was still out, nobody would use it,” Nathan states, pointing out that Byte – AKA Vine2 – has rarely been used since its release. Still pointing out how nostalgia may have retroactively shaped our opinion of Vine, he then adds that no one ever wants to appreciate what we have in the moment, but we do all want nostalgia.
Despite his previous comments, he does make it clear that this doesn’t mean that Vine was an indefensible app. “2013-2014 Vine was untouchable,” he declares, before making it clear that people only remember the best uploads to the app, something that is exemplified by the titles of the numerous compilations that have been uploaded to YouTube.
Moving on to discuss TikTok, Nathan points out that everything users dislike about TikTok existed on Vine – yes, even the dances. “They’re blowing people up who need to blow up,” he says, before discussing the darker side of the app. While he makes it clear that there was racism on both apps, he points out that there is something different about TikTok, “Some of the racist children these days, they’re so bold.”
He then looks at the two apps in terms of the opportunities they provide(d) to new creators. He makes it clear that popular Viners monopolised the trending page, preventing anyone else from growing, meaning that, by the end of Vine, there was no competition.
The funniest people stayed underground and are appreciated now. “If it takes more than six seconds for you to tell a joke, you’re not funny,” Nathan says regarding the mindset many users brought to the app, before reminding us that, toward the end, users could upload videos that were up to two minutes long, but nobody remembers that “because they weren’t on the app”.
He adds that there are some funny kids on TikTok, and since creators have up to one minute to tell a story, there is more variety, and some trends can be funny, regardless of who does them.
He then discusses what a great thing it is that TikTok put creator handles at end of and throughout videos. A lack of credit on Vine meant that, even if someone blew up, they didn’t get known. This was often specifically to the detriment of black Viners.
However, Nathan by no means acts like TikTok is perfect, making it abundantly clear that he thinks the app is run by a terrible company. “I don’t trust them,” he shares. He discusses complaints surrounding the belief that only those who are rich and attractive are put on the homepage – “the least funny people on the planet” – but ultimately surmises that “TikTok’s a better app run by worse people”.
He ends the video by pointing out that nostalgia impacts our appreciation of things, and that’s valid. He emphasises that most of the people who used Vine were teens and young adults who have formative memories associated with the app. But, possibly, we all need to take off our rose-tinted glasses and give TikTok a try.