TikTok: Is it a “New Vine” or Waste of Time?

A look into what Musical.ly is now and how it compares to the everlasting, legendary Vine

By Mason Pendleton
Feature Editor

On Jan. 17, 2017, a legend was defeated. The massive hit app Vine was struck down from its glory due to lack of new innovations causing bankruptcy and other financial failures. After being bought out by Twitter, it simply couldn’t meet competition and/or couldn’t revive itself back to its former glory, and so Vine promptly faded out into obscurity with the other lost legends.

While Vine still lives on in the “Vine Compilations you watch at 3 AM because you can’t sleep,” a new competitor has entered the field, Musical.ly or as it’s now known: TikTok.

Why the two names? Well, according to Slate.com, Musical.ly and TikTok were two separate apps that started in China and were nearly identical. Both apps became instant sensations around the country and soon, worldwide. With China’s history of social media flops, it was shocking when these two apps took off so successfully. As Musical.ly grew in the west, the other social media app, TikTok, made by the Chinese company, ByteDance, made a proposition to combine the successful apps together and become one powerful TikTok. This business plan was agreed on, and Musical.ly ceased to exist and became the well loved TikTok.

According to Slate.com, TikTok was the most downloaded app in the IOS store as of 2018. TikTok runs nearly identical to Vine, but is able to keep up with competition in ways Vine couldn’t. Instead of six second clips, it runs with up to 10-15 seconds of footage with many available filters and editing options. TikTok happens to mainly focuses on music due to its original sister app, and there are plenty of parodies of certain movie scenes and music videos available on the app. However a lot of previous “viners” have settled into the new app in order to create videos.

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Whiteland Sophomore Catherine Dowlen believes this change was beneficial to the app itself.

“It’s basically a more updated version of Musical.ly, But everyone knows that…” Dowlen said “…it wasn’t as good and it had certain things, and not all of the things that TikTok has now.”

Its growing popularity is something to behold as more fans either watch the content or begin creating their own. However, not all opinions are positive for this upcoming app; for Whiteland freshman Abigayle Taylor, her opinion is a little mixed.

“TikTok is in the between of fun to use and not fun to use because some of the people on it, and the little kids that are on there, are reporting videos because they find it offensive,” Taylor said. “On the other hand, it is fun to use to make stupid videos with your friends.”

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TikTok has its share of controversy with various reports of scandalous videos and multiple injuries caused by stunts gone wrong. Indonesia actually banned TikTok for all of this “inappropriate content.” According to The Atlantic, the apps are also infamous due to their overaggressive marketing campaign. Every other social media has at least one TikTok ad filtered into it’s ad campaign, and in Bushwick, Brooklyn, there’s an entire wall with just the TikTok logo for advertising! It’s its own version of “Bank-sy.”

Whiteland senior Ethan Flohr doesn’t agree with this sudden popularity, as the app feels a little cheap and dangerous to some of its younger viewers.

“It’s just a way for kids to make low effort jokes and preserve memes that should not still be around today,” Flohr said. “Plus, giving kids an incentive to show their faces on the internet is a bad thing for privacy reasons.”

So, like it or not, TikTok has made its way into public eye. Its popularity has caused people to claim this is the rebirth of Vine, to the more critical’s dismay. The content on TikTok has really become something of a “hit or miss” among the younger generation looking to become the next big thing.

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