The social after increasing the length of its clips, is testing content that lasts five or ten minutes to give more freedom to its creators. With the risk of being distorted
When TikTok began conducting tests last December to offer its users three-minute videos already It seemed a revolution for a platform that has made the shortness of the clips it hosts – initially 15 seconds – and the frenetic pace with which these follow one another the main distinctive features and reasons for success.
The extension of the maximum duration of the videos that can be uploaded to the app it finally arrived in early July. However, TikTok seems to want to go beyond this limit. In fact, the latest rumors report that the social network owned by the Chinese ByteDance is already offering some of its users the opportunity to shoot videos five minutes.
The news was first shared in a tweet from social media consultant Matt Navarra, who posted a screenshot of a TikTok notice announcing that users will now have the ability to upload longer videos. “Upload videos up to 5 minutes long from your device. Make sure you are using the latest version of TikTok before trying the feature on your app or on tiktok.com “, says the screenshot.
TikTok is testing a longer 5 minute video upload limit 🕺 🤳🏻 pic.twitter.com/qiRbJmHkma
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) August 25, 2021
According to the 9to5Mac site, some users have reported the ability to upload videos up to 10 minutes. This would mean that TikTok is testing variable length video limits together to figure out what works best.
It is about a radical change for the platform which has the brevity of its contents as its dominant feature but, as we know, in the world of social media, not evolving is equivalent to disappearing.
At the time of the introduction of the 3-minute limit TikTok had made it known that the novelty was designed to give people greater flexibility in creating their videos. The company specifically mentioned the tutorial formats, difficult to make and follow with a series of short clips.
This move could lead the ByteDance application to become a possible YouTube competitor for longer videos, just as the site is taking a reverse step by targeting short clips with Shorts and rivaling TikTok.
The duration of three, five or ten minutes it would slow down the pace of content that appear in the section of For you and that allows it to keep its users glued to the screen. No one can imagine how longer-form content will be received in an audience with ever shorter attention spans, nor how the TikTok algorithm will behave and which videos it will choose to favor. YouTube for example prefers long content.
To prevent more full-bodied videos from dropping users’ attention too much, the platform could also create one new dedicated section, a bit like Instagram did with Igtv.
However, the reasoning behind this lengthening is quite simple. The longer a video is and the more time you spend watching it, if it is interesting. Additionally, advertisers may also like the longer format because it gives them more time to get their message across. The challenge on the horizon for TikTok seems to be to keep users engaged for several minutes and for this reason we would not be surprised if more news or tools for creators arrive soon.
However, there could be a risk the uniqueness and identity of the app. If, as we have said, for social media to change and add functionality is essential to offer a renewed experience to users and potentially expand their audience, the risk is in the long run that of a certain approval between platforms. For example, the emblematic cases of the audio rooms, which from Clubhouse are finding space on almost all the other apps, and that of the Stories teach this.
By the way, always Matt Navarra reported that the ByteDance app he’s working on some sort of TikTok Stories, another Instagram copy function which will allow users to post content that disappears after 24 hours.