Do You Know Your TikTok From Your Twitch?


Five minute read

In the ever-changing social media landscape, it’s clear that short-form video has become king.

From TikTok and Quibi to Instagram’s newest feature, Reels, it can be a challenge to keep up with the latest features on these apps and what sets them apart from one another.

To help you navigate the short-form video landscape, here’s everything you need to know about the platforms changing the social media landscape:

TikTok: Following in the footsteps of Vine, TikTok has brought new life to short-form videos. Known for it’s creative augmented reality effects and audio selection, it has been the breeding ground for countless viral social media trends and new macro-influencers.

  • Pro: TikTok has just about perfected its predictive algorithm, resulting in an endless array of suggested content tailored to users’ preferences.
  • Con: While TikTok can be a fun cyberspace, there have been concerns for security, dangerous viral challenges, and it can be difficult to monitor and control content for children. Also, the Federal government is threatening to ban the platform within the U.S., so its lifespan may be somewhat limited.
  • Video Length: Up to 60 seconds
  • Access: Full access via app and limited access via computer
  • Location: App
  • Cost: Free
  • Similar platforms: Byte, Instagram’s Reels, and Triller

Reels: Meet Instagram’s response to TikTok, which allows users to record clips up to 15 seconds with audio, augmented reality effects, and other tools to share with followers and friends.

  • Pro: Only use music on the Instagram app or original audio to keep your reels from being taken down.
  • Con: Unlike TikTok, where you can curate exactly who you want to see, Reels has been integrated into your curated feed which can be seen as an interruption.
  • Video Length: 15 seconds
  • Access: Full access via app and limited access via computer
  • Location: Instagram
  • Cost: Free
  • Similar platforms: TikTok, Byte, and Triller

Quibi: Short for “quick bites,” it’s a subscription-based streaming app that provides short-form scripted and unscripted content. You can expect to see notable actors, comedians, and personalities such as Kevin Hart, Jennifer Lopez, and Chris Hemsworth gracing a screen near you.

  • Pro: You can expect new content weekly.
  • Cons: You can’t access Quibi via the computer and a subscription cost may deter potential users.
  • Video Length: 7-10 minutes
  • Access: Full access via app
  • Location: App
  • Cost: Subscription-based
  • Similar platforms: Hulu, Netflix, and Disney Plus

Twitch: A social streaming platform servicing millions, with an emphasis on video game tutorials and streaming content. Twitch has quickly become a digital space for many streamers to engage, host concerts, DJ sets, charity events and more in real-time.

  • Pro: Engaging with your audience is key to expanding your reach.
  • Cons: Due to it solely being a user-generated content platform, this channel can be difficult to monitor for children. Most content is only saved for up to 14 days.
  • Livestreaming Length: the longest uninterrupted livestream is 162 hours
  • Access: Full access via computer and app
  • Location: Website and App
  • Cost: Free and subscription options
  • Similar platforms: Periscope and YouTube Live