Vine vs Musical.ly vs TikTok - A Gen Z Crisis

It’s hard to go on Instagram or Facebook nowadays without stumbling across a TikTok. It seems like you can find anything and everything on the video-sharing app. But what exactly is a TikTok, and why is it so famous? Is it better than Vine? And what about Music.ly? I’m going to describe each one of these apps and talk about their differences, but it’s up to you to decide which one is best. 

First up is Vine. If you were anywhere near the internet between the years 2013 and 2017, you will have at least heard of but probably watched at least one Vine. Vine was a video sharing platform that allowed users to make original videos up to six seconds long. While that sounds like an extremely short and restricting time limit, this forced creators to really stretch their imaginations, make the best use of their comedic timing and make memorable content to stand out from the masses. 

Vine quickly blew up and references from the videos wormed their way into modern culture. “Stop! I could have dropped my croissant!” “I smell like beef.” “Hurricane Katrina? More like Hurricane Tor-tilla.” These are just a few of the most famous Vines that are referenced even to this day. If you search just the word “Vine” on YouTube, you can find ridiculously named Vine compilations such as “Vines that SLAP my POTATOES” or “vines that just butter my eggroll”. There is no denying the cultural influence of Vine. 

Unfortunately, Vine was shut down at the beginning of 2017, leaving the online celebrities who blossomed because of Vine without somewhere to post their content. After this, many of these people took to Twitter or Instagram but never again found the level of fame they had before. Vine had a huge impact when it was up and running and its shutdown was a big deal as well.  

So what’s next? This is where Musical.ly came into play. It was released in August of 2016, and overlapped Vine, but was totally different. This app seemed to only exist for the purpose of lip-syncing songs and dancing. In my opinion, Musical.ly wasn’t a great app and is easily forgettable. There was no humor involved, nothing quotable that made an impact on society, and it was shut down in August of 2018. 

But Musical.ly never really died. The app creators decided that it would be smarter to merge Musical.ly with the Chinese created app TikTok, and Musical.ly users had their accounts transferred to TikTok after an update of the app.  

Now our contemporary video platform is TikTok, which is the best of both worlds. There are people who lip-sync and dance to songs, but more frequently song lyrics are punchlines to jokes. The combination of humor and music is why TikTok has become so popular in the past year or so with people of all ages. Everyone from little kids to grandparents seems to want to get in on the big trends that appeal to people of all ages.  

People make fun of TikTok, but I personally think it’s a great app. It allows for the creativity achieved with Vine but doesn’t have the same six-second time limit. It lets users put music in their videos like Musical.ly but allows people to do more than just lip-sync. It’s an open and accepting platform where users from all backgrounds can put whatever they want out into the world, and at the end of the day, there’s nothing wrong with that.