TikTok is better than Vine – and here’s why

TikTok vs. Vine. Photo credit: Melanie Lennon

Social media is a big part of our everyday lives. It’s used to network career opportunities, to communicate and, most notably, as a form of entertainment.

The online entertainment industry has experienced a lot of change over the past decade, and Playlist Live 2020 was a prime example of this evolution.

The social media convention, based out of Orlando, Fla., celebrated its 10th anniversary from Feb. 28 – Mar. 1. Over the years, Playlist Live expanded their list of attendees beyond YouTubers to include marketers, producers, creators from Vine and, most recently, TikTok stars.

Vine, which was known for its six-second looping videos, was released in 2013 and quickly became a fan favourite on social media. The app shut down in 2017 and fans were certain nothing would take its place…until TikTok was introduced.

The short form video-sharing app was released in late 2017. The platform has been the topic of debate for a while, and is continuously criticized by those who prefer Vine’s former content.

Granted, Vine holds a sense of nostalgia for this generation and many would argue it paved the way for TikTok, therefore the current app is inferior.

TikTok may not be able to replace Vine, but it can certainly surpass its success.

TikTok has a strong, recognizable algorithm and up-to-date assets, whereas Vine lacked in these areas.

The former app was known for its ‘Explore’ page. On it, users would find various categories, a ‘Popular Now’ tab and an ‘On the Rise’ section.

This page, however, was a major flaw in its service.

Vine’s algorithm, which SproutSocial describes as the way “social networks prioritize which content a user sees in their feed first by the likelihood that they’ll actually want to see it,” was heavily biased.

The app was notorious for promoting recycled content. The people commonly endorsed already had large followings, such as Lele Pons, KingBach and Nash Grier.

Since users had to follow creators in order to view updated content on their home page, the ‘Explore’ tab was a vital part of Vine’s service.

Yet, seeing as the content shown on this part of the app was generally produced by popular Viners, it meant small creators had a hard time growing their platforms.

TikTok doesn’t have this problem.

The app’s service is much more user-friendly and doesn’t solely focus on a specific group of creators.

Its ‘For You’ page is the first thing you see when the app loads. This means users do not need to be following creators in order to discover new content.

TikTok says it “enables everyone to be a creator, and encourages users to share their passion and creative expression through their videos,” and this couldn’t be more true.

With its algorithm, the app presents new content all the time. You still have the opportunity to follow your favourite creators, but that’s under a separate tab. The ‘For You’ page is undoubtedly the app’s most appealing feature – it’s what makes TikTok so addicting.

Luke Abercrombie, the 20-year-old content creator from Georgia, is known for his work on Vine. His videos are still referenced to this day, and his platform continues to grow through his YouTube channel and, of course, his TikTok account.

“I think the ‘For You’ page was a really smart idea…It doesn’t necessarily show you TikToks that are currently popular. It just shows you TikToks you would be interested in,” he explains. “Vine never had that…It would constantly be the same people and the same vines. There was no algorithm to let anything evolve.”

This is exactly what led to Vine’s downfall.

Despite once being recognized as the fastest growing app in the world, and having over 200 million monthly users, Failory says Vine was unsuccessful in the end because it didn’t “grow and develop as its user base increased.”

At first, users were drawn to the app’s simplicity. But, over time, both consumers and creators grew bored of Vine’s format.

It never had any major changes during its four years of app life and, in the world of social media where things are constantly evolving, Vine was left behind.

Its number of worldwide downloads decreased by a massive 55 per cent in 2016, according to TechCrunch. This, alongside the company’s shrinking profit and lessened user activity inevitably led to Vine’s demise.

TikTok, on the other hand, is continuously gaining success after almost three years in business.

According to Oberlo, the app has a whopping 500 million monthly users and 1.5 billion downloads, beating out top competitors like Instagram, YouTube, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

The same article says this level of success means “not only is TikTok able to keep its current user base strong, but it’s also constantly evolving to attract a new and growing user base.”

This is definitely true.

TikTok undergoes new updates multiple times a month. Whether it’s pertaining to performance corrections, enhancing the filming process, or bettering the engagement between TikTokers and fans, the app is constantly improving.

Vine will always be remembered as an important part of today’s online entertainment scene, but TikTok will experience a longer, more prosperous lifespan.

Whether you love it or you hate it, there’s no way to ignore its blatant #success.