Print Project Proposal:

For this project, I wish to do a comparative analysis of how history is shown/produced, engaged with, and both how accurate it actually is + how accurate audiences view it to be on Youtube vs on TikTok. The broader framework of study for this project would be history in “popular media” and how these productions are influencing the views and beliefs of the general public around historical topics. I would select 2-3 Youtube channels of significant size, so that I could properly explore audience engagement, as well as 2-3 TikTok accounts. Potentially, I could select channels/accounts that focus on narrowed subjects rather than just general history because audience engagement as well as gauging accuracy might end up being more effective in certain ways in that case. 

For the audience engagement portion of this, including gauging how historically accurate audience’s find these videos to be, I would go to the comment sections. I would also look to see if–for Youtube–other creators have made videos on/about the selected channels, and–for TikTok–I would look to see if other videos or duets have been made on the selected accounts. What spawned from these accounts? Are people viewing them as simply an interesting video to watch or are they leading people to more history? Are people viewing these videos as historically accurate, or do they avoid taking these videos at face value? What value of historical accuracy do people put on these videos, if any? These are the types of questions that I would love to explore. I would also want to try and guage the overall historical accuracy of the channels/accounts in general, starting with something as simple as seeing if they link any sources anywhere. Do they discuss sources within the videos themselves? Do they provide any sort of evidence backing up what they present in their videos? I would also want to look at who is watching these videos, I could use Youtube and TikTok analytics to see the demographics of the audiences for these channels–it would be interesting to see how those demographics compare on the two platforms. 

Potential Youtube Accounts:

  1. Invicta, @InvictaHistory
  2. Knowledgia, @Knowledgia
  3. History Time, @HistoryTime
  4. WeirdHistory, @WeirdHistory
  5. HISTORY, @HISTORY (The History Channel has both a Youtube and a TikTik so it could be really good for a comparison of how history is handled on both sites)

Potential TikTok Accounts:

  1. HISTORY, @history (the History Channel)
  2. History Season, @historyseason
  3. 7 Minutes in History, @7minutesinhistory
  4. Historylessons101, @historylessons101

2 Replies to “Print Project Proposal:”

  1. As a lover of social media (especially TikTok) I love this idea! You mentioned using accounts on YouTube and TikTok that offer more narrowed history videos, do you know what you would like to focus on? You could consider doing geographical history, like American History, or time period history, like the 1940s and WWII, to help narrow it down.

    I have a feeling that for the History Channel TikTok and YouTube accounts have lots of comments on each video which would be very helpful in seeing how audiences receive these videos. I also like the idea of maybe just focusing on the History Channel’s TikTok and YouTube accounts and analyzing how the histories they put out cater to each platform. I think you would find a lot there, so you might not have to utilize other accounts!

  2. Hi Megan,

    Doing a comparison of historical videos on Youtube and Tik Tok is a really interesting idea! I really like that you have already zeroed in on some potential accounts for you to focus your analysis on too. It’s great to see you have already done that level of initial work to plan this.

    Your idea to look at both the content of the videos and the reactions/comments they are getting is great. I think that will set you up with a lot of data that you can engage and look at.

    Broadly, I think somewhat straightforward questions about who is creating this content and what they are focusing on will be interesting. It strikes me that you could connect this to broader stories about how historians and history communicators have used various new media to connect with new audiences. In that vein, Historians in Public The Practice of American History, 1890-1970 ( has some good context in it on how historians started to engage with radio, film, and television and I imagine some of that could be useful for providing a broader context for this project.

    The part of this project that focuses on a comparison between Youtube and Tik Tok is interesting, ostensibly you have an older platform that supports much longer form videos and is less mobile oriented with a more recent platform that has a much more mobile first, shorter format, and algorithmically driven approach. So I imagine you will see pretty different kinds of content and approaches to production between the two. WIth all of that said, I think you could very well focus on either of the platforms individually if you wanted. That is, there is a lot of potential ground to cover in this, and I think you could just as well have enough to say if you just focused on comparisons within Tik Tok as you would if you are focusing on comparisons between Tik Tok videos and Youtube videos. That is just to say that you have a lot of options here for how you could approach this potential study.

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