Kidology’s video essays will renew your faith in social media
Zee is helping make YouTube a vibrant, in-depth alternative to TikTok.
For anyone else who can’t ever allow themselves to sit in silence, may I recommend: YouTube video essays. —Kate
YouTube has come to occupy an interesting space in this short-form video world. While the company launched the TikTok copycat feature Shorts in the U.S. in 2021, its users seem to have gone in a totally different direction. As a result, YouTube has become a reprieve from TikTok rather than a direct competitor to it. Mainstream social videos have gotten shorter and faster, but there’s seemingly more of an appetite than ever for longform content, and the creators filling this void are some of the more fascinating ones popping up right now.
After discovering Kidology (who was recommended by Marion Honey), I was immediately struck by how Zee, the U.K.-based creator behind the channel, was sustaining an audience of hundreds of thousands of people for as long as half an hour with just … her thoughts. I’m not trying to diminish those thoughts—one of the reasons Zee has grown such a large following is because of how nuanced and sometimes provocative they are. Her videos explore topics from celibacy to academia to popular culture (see: the discourse around Don’t Worry Darling), and range from curated video essays to off-the-cuff livestreams where she’s able to respond directly to her audience in real time.
Zee says she doesn’t necessarily feel like she fits in with creators in the video essay space on YouTube, which is dense and well-established. But in the same way Zee tells me her audience has restored her faith in humanity, the work that Zee and her peers are doing has restored my faith in the potential of social media. We’re not doomed to be forever disassociating on TikTok—creative, conversation-starting, original work is still being created every day!
In this interview for paid subscribers, Zee and I spoke about creating longform content, the value of having a truly engaged audience, and why she only just got on social media.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Embedded to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.