The rise of shortform media

2 June 2020
2 Jun 2020

Instagram stories and Tiktoks are to films and longform videos, what tweets are to essays and books.

Shortform media like stories-style video/photo sequences and tweets are easier to consume in the context of day-to-day life, easier to share, and easier to remix. I think a confluence of these factors are making shortform media the kind of popular, collective creative format that longform media could never be. Instagram stories, in particular, strikes at a critical intersection between creative versatility, ease of use, remixability (screenshot someone else’s story and re-share with commentary), and sharability. It’s a creative format that takes advantage of the devices most people use to interact with their social network (smartphones), and the way most people now share and connect (via photos and videos).

It makes me wonder what new and novel creative tools we could build if we explicitly built tools for creative work with these new traits and features in mind. For example, maybe one way to get more good writing online is to build a writing tools that “feels” more like the UX of stories or Twitter threads, not essays and longform articles.

In the generation of sharable, shortform media, how should the tools of creative work change to enable new kinds of creators and culture?

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