The newest social media apps are forcing comedians to become more creative. Apps like Vine, Snapchat, and even Twitter force users to think in ways that social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube never did.
Take Vine, where users simply create a six-second video. I’ve seen funny, sad, and cool Vines. It’s hard to say the same about Facebook statuses. The same goes for Twitter. Users have only 140 characters to set up, tell, and give the punch line to a joke.
I’ve seen some pretty creative photo album titles on Facebook, but the skill it takes to create a hilarious Vine is unmatched in social media thus far. Twitter pushes the creative mind in the same way that Vine does.
But of course, no one has perfected the art. The most-liked users on Vine are former child star Josh Peck, Jerome Jarre, comedians Brittany Furlan, Marcus Johns, and Landon Moss. Some of these Vine users are just regular people, yet others are comedians using this app as a publicity tool to show off their comedic chops.
But how can a story or a joke be told in six seconds? The first two seconds are used to introduce the character. The next two set the scene, prank, or riddle of the joke. The final two tell the punch line. As odd as it may seem, there is a science to Vine, and the most creative users have mastered the formula.
Today, Facebook is typically used to share photos, rant about current events, and network with friends. But these new social media platforms have become an outlet for creatives. While the most viewed videos on Vine are from One Direction, the rest mimic social interactions. Many Viners take stereotypes from one social group, apply them to another situation, and then enact what the group would do in said situation. Vines like this highlight the stereotypical differences between races and gender. Examples include “When a guy sneezes in class vs. when a girl does” or “How black guys flirt with girls vs white guys.” These Vines may further solidify racial and gender stereotypes, but they are in the good-natured name of comedy.
This summer, Instagram released its newest feature to compete with Vine: video. The video component on Instagram now lets you film for up to 15 seconds instead of six, and the user can add filters to the video. With more users on Instagram than on Vine, many thought that “Insta-video” would spell the demise of Vine. Yet Vine has weathered the storm and made it clear that it is here to stay.
One reason is the limited time allotted on Vine. Six seconds make the video more similar to the easily shared GIF, contrary to 15 seconds which more closely resemble a YouTube video. In an age where timing is everything, the quickness of Vines allows users to experience the same with less.
Vine is still rather new as it only took off in January this year. Not all celebrities have yet adopted it, but it also took several years for Twitter to gain mainstream traction. Vine has yet to surpass Twitter, but it already has more average daily shares.
In an interview with Ellen DeGeneres, Viner Jerome Jarre (known for his Vine, “Why Are People So Afraid of Love”), said, “I’m always trying to make people happy. That’s really my theme on Vine.”
At the end of the day, Vine is more than just funny videos, which we know the Internet already offers. Vine is about sharing those creative and funny videos to spread the humor. Vine not only showcases the humor of upcoming comedians as well as just regular people, but also allows anyone with a smartphone to take part in the fun.
Weinberg is a member of
the class of 2015.