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TikTok extends videos from 3 mins to 10 mins

TikTok has officially confirmed a massive change to how the platform will operate.

Users will now be able to upload videos up to 10 minutes long, an increase in seven minutes from the previous maximum. The option to film longer videos will be rolled out across the globe in the next few weeks, but users will need to update their app to access the feature.

Previously, videos were capped at three minutes long – before that, it was 60 seconds. Prior to that, 15. 

We can already see that TikTok has broadened its horizons away from being an extreme short-form video platform, like Vine, and is now sitting in a position that allows creators to experiment with longer content. Of course, this could create more space for ads, and more opportunities for marketers.

TikTok Spokesperson, via TechCrunch

“We’re always thinking about new ways to bring value to our community and enrich the TikTok experience. Last year, we introduced longer videos, giving our community more time to create and be entertained on TikTok. 

“Today, we’re excited to start rolling out the ability to upload videos that are up to 10 minutes, which we hope would unleash even more creative possibilities for our creators around the world.

Creators will be able to go into more depth on topics such as comedy sketches, cooking tutorials, educational videos and more. Prior to this change, heaps of TikTok videos had to be broken into more than one part – with users often encouraged to follow creators to view part two or more in the video series.

That method could be frustrating for users, who would have to scroll through a creator’s feed to find part two or three of a video series. With the update, that will be a thing of the past.

Coming for YouTube

Those changes make TikTok a more fierce competitor. YouTube racked in a massive $28.8 billion in advertising revenue in 2021. With TikTok’s combination of exciting features, such as AR tools and a music catalogue, the app could be a really attractive place for advertisers, brands and marketers to spend their money. The depth of features also makes TikTok a place that breaks ground and introduces new ideas to the marketplace. Facebook has already resorted to rolling out TikTok clones of duets and stitch to try and match the power of the platform. Will we see 10 minute Reels in the future?

Plus, features such as duets and stitches allow for greater collaboration between brands and audiences.

Longer videos = more opportunity, but YouTube is still king

The undisputed heavyweight of video is still YouTube. Last year, there were more monthly YouTube viewers than TV – according to eMarketer. However, that dominance is being challenged by TikTok, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.

Or at least, those platforms are trying to challenge YouTube. There have been mixed results.

Every month, more people watched a video on YouTube than even visited Facebook (225.8 million vs 179.1 million). YouTube will have double the monthly users of TikTok (230.6 million vs 90.6 million) and more than half of kids aged 0-11 will use YouTube this year, compared to less than 5% on TikTok.

However, teenagers will still embrace YouTube over TikTok (87.6% vs 65.3%), but there can be some crumbs of comfort found in market penetration. YouTube’s is starting to bump up against its glass ceiling, while TikTok’s is rising faster than petrol prices (1.5 percentage points this year vs 13 points).

Additionally, eMarketer estimates that in three years time, there will be 24.2 million US TikTok users and 26.6 million YouTube users.

It’s worth noting that this data is US-centric, but it can be used as a useful comparison for Western markets.

TikTok lengthening its video length is a clear challenge to YouTube. It moves TikTok away from the bitesize content market and gives creators the chance to make more considered, structured content. YouTube still dominates among nearly every category of video watched, but this could be the first move in TikTok coming for its belts.

A longer video length could also herald the arrival of features like pre-roll adverts, or ads included within the video itself. Of course, longer content means further opportunities for brand collaboration, and should interest marketers.


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