Can a Vine succeed on YouTube? That is to say, is there something innate about content that thrives on one social network that might also work against it when it’s transplanted to another? There are thousands of Vine compilations on YouTube, thousands more by the time this sentence is finished, probably. This isn’t about them—though they’re awfully fun and effective as a kind of tourism. Most, if not all, platforms feature ways to export their (our) labour through the use of embeds, like a Vine autoplaying in a tweet. I’m not talking about them, either. I mean, what about a Vine’s soul? Is it so inseparable from the quirks and practices of Vine’s community—its very grammar—that it would die anywhere else?
Two weeks ago, Nicholas Fraser dropped “Why You Always Lying?”, an immaculately executed callout meme that reached Mom Facebook so quickly many of us were already mourning its passing. (That hasn’t stopped it playing in clubs, so.) Fraser is back with an extended cut which he debuted last night on YouTube. And as a native product of YouTube, the clip arrives in crisp 1080p with production values better by an order of magnitude, possibly two. There’s even a setup. But like a joke translated into another language, I can’t shake the feeling that something pure was lost in the process.
Talking to the author of In The Country about expatriate communities, Filipino and otherwise, the protection…