TikTok has accidentally recreated the most annoying part of Twitter with its 'Stitch' function
- Twitter's "Stitch" function allows users to add their responses to other
- It's similar to Twitter's quote retweets, which allow users to comment directly on other tweets.
- It has brought "Prompt Twitter," where people respond to questions, to TikTok.
- Your TikTok For You page is likely flooded with Stitch videos.
In September, TikTok rolled out a new feature on the app called "Stitch," which allows users to tag their own responses to videos from other users.
While it seemed innocent in theory, by doing so, it's made the app more annoying.
"Stitching" has opened the door for new content. Users can replicate stunts they've seen in other videos, make new jokes, or respond to questions that other users pose, without ever having to talk over them.
But it also means TikTok has managed to replicate "prompt Twitter," where users fire questions off into the void and others respond to them en masse.
TikTok's stitch function allows you to tag a video-addition onto someone else's video
The stitch function, which per a TikTok blog post officially launched in September 2020 (although it appears to have been tested prior to that), allows users to "clip and integrate scenes from another user's video into their own."
In other words, it's a direct way to respond to someone else's video and promote it as part of your own. Users can choose whether or not they want to allow others to be able to stitch their content in the app's settings, and stitched videos always credit and link to the original poster by default.
Using it is simple: click the share tab, select "Stitch" if available, select the portion of the video you'd like to use, and then record your own addition.
Now Introducing: STITCH! Make the ultimate collab with your fav creators♬ original sound - TikTok
Stitching is similar to the app's duet function, which allows users to post a side-by-side video adding on to someone else's content. That feature has led to some of TikTok's best collaborations (see: a number of the songs written and performed as part of TikTok's ongoing "Ratatouille" musical). However, it differs in the respect that you don't have to simultaneously respond while another video rolls — rather, you can take the time to directly address a question after someone poses it.
Stitch videos are analogous to quote retweets on Twitter
Although not perfect parallels — TikTok and Twitter are very different platforms, most notably because TikTok is a video-first app — stitch videos are the closest that TikTok has ever gotten to Twitter's quote retweet, which the platform rolled out officially in 2015.
Quote-retweets allow users to retweet public users' tweets with their own added comments. Twitter recently tweaked its retweet function to push users to quote retweet and "add their own commentary" to the conversation amid the 2020 United States election.
However, the feature has been widely criticized for its ability to make Twitter seemingly meaner. The Ringer's Claire McNear called the quote retweet a "uniquely agile enabler of anger" in 2018, reporting that it can help to amplify the ugliest parts of Twitter.
It's also led to Prompt Twitter, where a user posts a question that's really just an excuse to let people talk about themselves in quote retweets, as Brian Feldman wrote for Intelligencer in 2019. Prompt Twitter can flood your timeline with responses to an arbitrary question.
TikTok's Stitch videos could fall into similar pitfalls because of the app's algorithm.
The Stitch function combined with TikTok's algorithm means your For You page could become monotonous
Because of the way TikTok's algorithm works, if you engage in someone's video, chances are you'll see another one like it. This is compounded if people are responding to the same video over and over again.
Take this November 9 video from user @shelbykaitlin as an example. With approximately 14,600 likes and over 150,000 views, it's sparked a variety of responses, many of which have shown up on my personal For You Page over the course of the past week, racking up hundreds of thousands of likes on their own.
Once I started engaging with responses to @shelbykaitlin's story prompt video, even more response videos began to flood my suggestions page. That's likely for a variety of algorithmic factors: I had engaged with a number of them previously, I tend to watch through story-based videos, and my For You Page already skews towards fandom-based content.
The Stitch function isn't all bad
Still, it's hard to find TikTok's Stitch quite as annoying as Prompt Twitter, mainly because the responses to questions actually tell complete stories that could hold water on their own.
People are using the Stitch function to share their experiences with anti-Semitism, tell stories (whether they're made up or true) about their feuds with celebrities, or even reflect on their Tumblr days.
The platform's 60-second limit gives creators the opportunity to tell their full, nuanced stories. In that way, it still makes for good original content.
##stitch with @mountaindewbarrymore how am I still here♬ original sound - Kevin Clevenger
While Stitch question-and-response videos fall into many of the same pitfalls, they're a far cry from the surface-level questions that flood Prompt Twitter.
- How India can create opportunities for its new-age farmers
- Akasa Air founder, big bull Rakesh Jhunjhunwala passes at 62
- SIMPLY PUT: What happened before India got Freedom@Midnight
- Here’s how much banks have increased home loan interest rates
- Avatar 2, Black Panther 2, Ant Man — Here is a complete list of Hollywood movies expected to hit Indian theaters in the next 6-7 months