If you’re watching videos on social media in 2023, there are countless types of content you may come across. In this article, I’ll briefly go through two of some of the most popular: reaction and review videos. The line between these two genres of online videos is sometimes blurred, yet they quite often go hand in hand. However, there is a difference.
A reaction video can be one where a person simply records their live reaction as they experience something. It gives the viewer a somewhat genuine impression of the creator’s response to the content being reacted to. While review content tends to go deeper. It usually provides a more thorough analysis of whatever is being reviewed, a critical evaluation. These can provide more meaningful commentary.
Some creators do both reaction and review videos: they show their initial perception and then go on to a deeper discussion of what has been shown. And it can get quite meta too. You may find a youtuber reacting to a video of a tiktoker unboxing and reviewing a certain product. Or even Billie Eilish reacting to a video of teens reacting to Billie Eilish songs.
The infamous Nikkie Tutorials is one of these personalities that does both. On her short videos on YouTube, she reacts to a makeup trend or product, and then proceeds to review the product or attempt to make the trend herself.
WHAT’S THE APPEAL?
In the era of short videos, review content often goes against the tendency. Reviews offer longer videos as they tend to rely on more complex information than just an impulsive reaction. However, these types of videos are nothing new. In fact, they have been a part of the internet since the beginning of social media. Channels like REACT have been producing this type of content for over a decade now – and their videos have many millions of views.
For the viewer, review content is not only a form of entertainment but it can also be eye-opening. Many times, these videos involve humor and they have a light-hearted way of presenting information which makes certain discussions more fun.
For the creators, making review content can be extremely beneficial. Some creators have built their whole channel around this genre of videos.
Often the appeal of these videos is not necessarily the information being presented, but the personality of the creator. As we watch some of this content, we might be drawn into certain topics not because we’re genuinely interested in the matter but because we like and sympathize with the creator.
What these videos are selling us is the creator’s personality and their ability to entertain. We tend to follow these creators not necessarily because we want to learn, but because we trust and enjoy listening to their opinion. And we actually have fun while listening to them, therefore making this a great way for building a loyal audience online. These videos make it easy for us to identify with the person behind the screen, and their experiences.
We like to hear other people’s opinions before forming our own, that’s only natural. We may want the approval or confirmation that our opinions are “correct” – that something is truly good or bad, as we had previously thought.
On a more personal note, I recently had my mind changed over the new Barbie film when I watched the MovieBitches duo review on the piece. I had a very positive response to the movie when I first watched it, but after listening to these film experts present the problems with the movie, my opinions began to switch.
THE DARK SIDE OF REACTION AND REVIEWS VIDEOS
Okay, saying there’s a dark side to the world of review and react content may be a bit far fetched. But I do believe that there are a few negative points that deserve our attention. If the review is done by a so-called expert, you can actually gain a lot of information. This gives the video an almost educational purpose.
On the other hand, if the video is made by a layman, or someone who is not necessarily a connoisseur of the subject being discussed, these videos could easily be a way to spread misinformation or propel a biased opinion. It’s important for creators to back up their arguments with tangible facts or sources that showcase their knowledge on the topics being presented.
I believe these videos can also prevent the audience from forming their opinion on certain subjects, as we can blindly trust the creator behind the screen. We tend to easily trust what we see online and we can be starstruck by the creator’s reach and large following, which makes their video seem more trustworthy.
Of course not everyone blindly trusts the information available online and more specifically in these reaction and review videos, but the way some topics are presented can sometimes be misleading, one-sided or persuasive, making it easy to believe in.