TikTok has expanded the maximum length of user-created videos to 10 minutes, up from the previous maximums of 3 and 5 minutes, respectively. The firm has been experimenting with the maximum duration of movies that producers can upload for the past 18 months, with the current limit of five minutes going into effect in January 2019.
However, some producers have hoped that TikTok will increase the length so that it could more closely rival YouTube and Instagram Reels. However, now that it’s available, one has to ask if TikTok viewers really want 10-minute films in their “For You” feed.
You may watch videos on TikTok by scrolling vertically. TikTok’s main draw is watching short videos as a way to kill time, however, the app also offers the option to watch films from individuals you follow or another called “For You,” in which TikTok’s algorithm curates new videos from producers you don’t follow.
Videos of 10 minutes could be pushing it. We are dangerously close to entering the realm of the internet movie or television series. The 2003 series Star Wars: The Clone Wars is a nice example here, as episodes might run between three and twelve minutes. In all honesty, we found the show to be entertaining. Having a 10-minute limit will allow TikTok to begin adding more episodic shows on the site.
But in the short term, YouTube is obviously TikTok’s new opponent, as it is already luring some TikTok creators eager for more time on the digital stage. Some TikTok makers may benefit from longer videos on the platform, especially if they focus on specific topics like pancake creation, throwbacks to classic TV episodes, or documentaries on interesting but less mainstream subjects.
However, 10-minute videos will force viewers to stop aimlessly scrolling and sit down to pay attention to the content. However, watching these longer videos is entirely voluntary. It’s possible that you won’t see 10-minute TikToks in your stream. You might simply choose to do nothing and let the algorithm do the vetting for you if you find any of them particularly annoying. After all, who has time to waste on TikTok for an hour?
Tiktok clearly wants some of its producers to address issues that require more time than a short video can provide, as evidenced by the popularity of these longer movies. Their success in that attempt will rely on how users will respond to the change.
Similarly, YouTube is making moves against TikTok. Shorts, YouTube’s answer to TikTok, allows producers to share shorter videos, but the function is still in beta.
At the same time that it’s competing with the video giant, TikTok is working to address its own financial concerns by better compensating its producers. This should keep them from leaving for the possibly more profitable YouTube.
As a result of TikTok’s supposedly weak monetization efforts in comparison to YouTube, creators like hankschannel(which opens in a new tab) have left the platform in search of greater financial success on Google’s rival.
TikTok is essentially up against a multi-pronged campaign to excite and retain active producers, including but not limited to: lengthier videos for more creative flexibility and new monetization measures to match the creators’ increased effort with stronger cash streams. If more producers and consumers decide to switch to TikTok because of the 10-minute video possibilities, then the company will have a chance to compete with YouTube.