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The Evolution of Video Edits

Video edits have been around for years, how have they changed with each app? What trends stayed and which ones were left behind?

Illustration by Lauren Bodenschatz

From Vine to TikTok, video edits of each fandom have changed drastically.

What are video edits?

While some may think this term is known by all, it actually is just a niche corner of the internet. A video edit is a video that contains clips from a TV show or movie put to music and has effects added to it. You can even do this with photos and other graphics. These types of video edits are more complicated than when you simply edit a video.

Time and effort go into which effects are applied, cutting the music so the clips are on the beat, and even making or finding the perfect audio. While you might think you’ve never seen one before, think back to this popular Timothée Chalamet TikTok.


i made this for quinn and quinn only @diarrheaquinn (ib @sandy.0234) #timotheechalamet #timothée #fyp #foryou #callmebyyourname #cmbyn #elioperlman

♬ Play Date – Melanie Martinez

While this is a simpler edit, it made its impact on TikTok. The slow-mo and sparkle effect put people in a trance – which is what edits should do. They should be entertaining and satisfying, the perfect duo for social media.

Phases of editing

Through each new social media app, there comes a new phase of editing. The audios change, the format, the apps/software used, and especially the content being edited. Editing is a timely thing that doesn’t stay in the past, it moves forward with the trends. This may be a bad thing for other tools but for editing it makes it more accessible.

Vine edits

Video edits have been around since Vine, which seems like forever ago. I remember doom-scrolling on my iPod touch for the perfect six-second video of Teen Wolf. I even had an app that would let me save these edits to my phone so I could rewatch them later, which I never did, but it was the thought that counted.

Vine edits thrived with their white borders, minimal transitions, and basic but clean colorings. A lot of them were either funny or gut-wrenching, just like Teen Wolf. The main content people edited on Vine were movies or TV shows. Dystopian and supernatural shows like Shadow Hunters and The Vampire Diaries were in their prime, making for perfect edits.

On Vine, apps like Video Star, Final Cut Pro, and Cute Cut are used to create edits. Even choppy movie star edits were allowed. Nobody was super critical about effects and transitions; it was just nice to have more people editing.

Instagram edits

The Instagram edit era is when I personally started editing. This era was full of YouTuber edits along with the usual TV and movie edits. I ran an account for the Bratayley family and loved it with my whole heart. A lot of the trends from Vine were the same on Instagram, being that’s where many of the accounts moved from.

However longer videos with smoother transitions were incorporated due to the time limit not being linked to 6 seconds again. They sometimes had white borders because this era began before Instagram let you crop your photos and videos outside of their uniform square.

Video Star and Adobe After Effects became huge during this era. Video Star was more accessible due to most of it being free. Some effects you had to pay for, but the majority were free of cost. The paid effects were normally cheap too: less than two dollars.

After Effects, on the other hand, had a subscription service where they charged you monthly or yearly to use. However, you could tell the difference in the edits. Video Star edits were still creative and fun and After Effects were just cleaner and smoother. Nonetheless, editors persisted in finding similar edits on Video Star to those on After Effects.

After Effects editing software logo
Credit: Shutterstock/DANIEL CONSTANTE

In my opinion, this was the true editing renaissance for Gen Z. We were in our early – middle teenage years and spent most of our time watching TV, YouTube, and movies.

This was also when editing started to get better, Video Star switched from just a music video app to a full-on editing app. It allowed those who couldn’t afford After Effects to mature their edits.

TikTok edits

During the peak of the pandemic and TikTok’s popularity, edits began to storm everyone’s “FYP.” With all the free time people had, many shows like Criminal Minds, Shameless, and even Teen Wolf were being consumed rapidly.

Editing is basically putting pieces of media you love together and sharing them with others, which was perfect during the pandemic. Users were allowed to freely obsess over their favorite characters, music artists, and YouTubers.

I don’t want to say editing wasn’t popular before TikTok, but it wasn’t something you advertised to others. In the Instagram and Vine days, it was an unspoken thing, some even considered it embarrassing to have a fan page for something. TikTok during the pandemic thrived on people sharing their niche interests without embarrassment, allowing editing to come out of its cave and show the world what it has.

Many of the same apps as mentioned before continue to be used, along with CapCut.

Again as time goes on, editing becomes more accessible. However, today’s edits aren’t as full of transitions and effects as they used to be.

Presently, Twixtor edits are the most popular. Twixtor is an effect on After Effects that retimes the clips you use, ultimately allowing you to slow down and speed the clip as you see fit. This effect and trend is in this popular Pedro Pascal edit.

TikTok users still love longer edits with more effects and transitions, but they adore simple ones like this. When all the Vine, Instagram, and TikTok trends come together, it creates the perfect editing buffet. There’s something for everyone to enjoy and even make themselves.

The editing community

The editing community has always been a close-knit section of the internet. It’s a common place for people to make friends and learn new editing tips. Collabs are popular in the editing community as a way to connect and share other editors’ work.

Back in the prime Instagram editing days, there were editing groups. These groups would consist of many different editors in the same fandom, or not, who would come together to support each other’s work. They would also do group collabs for certain holidays or the members’ birthdays.

The editing community uplifts and inspires each other. Of course, there’s editor drama every now and then as there always is in internet subgroups, but editors always try to avoid it.

The drama normally happens when someone steals someone else’s idea, audio, effect, or coloring without credit. Other art forms are credited, so editors should be too.

Editing has changed a lot since the Vine days, but it’s a good change. More people are editing and it’s more accessible. Editing is an “aged” hobby that allows many tutorials on YouTube and “elder editors.”

So, if you ever think you want to try editing, give it a shot. To get started, watch a few YouTube tutorials or even check out some popular editors on Instagram or TikTok.

A tip from me, a fellow editor, is to try not to be a perfectionist. The more perfect you try to make your edit, the worse it usually comes out. Editing isn’t a competition and should be fun, so download Video Star or CapCut and try it out.

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Hello! I am currently an english major at Gustavus Adolphus College. I love all things book, movie, and tv show related.

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