The Opening Act to TikTok: Vine

In the digital media world today, the latest trends and the newest celebrities are originating from TikTok. Everyday people are going viral by becoming overnight sensations, and users on other social media platforms are capitalizing on the content that is posted on TikTok. But one thing needs to be solidified before we can celebrate TikTok and all its accomplishments: Vine paved the way for video apps (like TikTok) and changed the course of digital media history.


Vine was introduced to the world in 2012 and was an outlier compared to other social media platforms at the time. The app marketed itself as the entertainment network where videos and personalities get really big, really fast. They asked users to download Vine to watch videos, remixes and trends before they blow up. Creating a platform to post only short-term videos that provided the opportunity to go “viral,” challenged users to be as creative and unique as they could be. This completely altered the user experience and the motivation behind user engagement on social media platforms.

The user experience was enhanced but, more importantly, Vine created possibly the first ever online community that was emphasized and appreciated by users. A sense of belonging was apparent among a generation that yearned for it. Not only were “famous” Vine users supported by other users through re-vines and recreations of their original posts, but everyday users in general were. Vine provided a space that was all about users and their content.

It’s clear that there are many reasons why Vine has positively impacted and molded digital history into what it is today. Since its creation, Vine was imitated by much larger competitors and, in death, served as a template for a new and even more powerful generation of short-form video apps. The app can also be known for being the most productive and prolific producer of viral content. With its strong focus on young users and the creativity it spurred, the app not only shifted internet culture but it also gave the music industry and Hollywood a much-needed breath of fresh air.

celebrities as a result of Vine.

As a result, look at everything TikTok is known for today: focusing on young users, everyday people going viral, greatly impacting the music industry, and encouraging Hollywood to look towards different talent. TikTok wouldn’t be TikTok without Vine, no matter how much you appreciate the new video application. Vine was the amazing opening act to TikTok. May Vine Rest In Peace and may video apps survive throughout the future course of digital media history.

death of vine.

“AHH! Stahhp. I coulda dropped mah croissant.” — Vine, 2012–2016

Graduate student at the University of Florida