I didn’t think I’d like TikTok when I first heard of it. Watching people lip-sync in front of a camera didn’t seem like my idea of fun. However, I am pleased to report that I have since learned the error of my ways: TikTok, as it turns out, is far more entertaining than I initially gave it credit for.
In some ways, TikTok makes me feel a little old: the app is incredibly popular with teenagers, and I was past that age before its rise. But it also takes me back to my own high school days. Many people have drawn parallels between TikTok and the now-defunct Vine, and it’s easy to see why: they’re both social media sites revolving around users creating short videos for content. But the structural differences in how the videos are made set them apart, and highlight how TikTok’s format really shines.
Where Vines were punchy, six-second-long clips that were ideal for quick jokes, TikToks tend to be longer (around the 10 to 30-second mark), and incorporate more music. This creates room for different types of funny videos: parodies of popular songs, musical gags, longer scenes, and even sketches. As a result, TikTok’s content is more varied and complex than Vine’s, while still managing to capture the same weird, goofy brand of humour.
Tiktok — and the people who make videos on it — routinely entertain the heck out of me. The people who have made content on TikTok (and the previous version of the app, Musical.ly) can be inventive beyond just lip-syncing in front of a camera. There are all kinds of niche TikTok groups, from theatre nerds to Starbucks baristas to the LGBTQ community. You can even find U of A-specific videos on there! The app’s duet feature also allows different people to directly create content together, allowing for greater collaboration than what was possible with Vine.
TikTok might seem like another annoying social media trend, but if you haven’t checked it out yet, I’d recommend giving it a chance. There are over a billion videos on there — surely, you’ll find something that appeals to you.