TikTok spotted testing 30-minute uploads as it continues to inch into YouTube’s territoryReading Time: 2 minutes
The company initially rose to popularity for its short-form video format, but has slowly been embracing long-form content. If the new upload limit rolls out widely, TikTok will have come a long way from its original video time limit of 15 seconds. After bumping up the limit from 15 seconds to a minute, TikTok later expanded it to three minutes, and then 10 minutes. TikTok began testing a 15-minute video upload limit a few months ago.
The change puts TikTok in even more direct competition with YouTube. The move indicates that TikTok wants to attract longer-form video creators who normally post content on YouTube.
In the past, TikTok was seen as the platform for short-form content, while YouTube was seen as the home of long-form content, with creators using both platforms to reach viewers. The past few years have blurred the lines between the two video platforms as TikTok embraces longer videos and YouTube adopts shorter videos with Shorts.
As with the previous time limit expansions, the new limit would give creators even more time and flexibility when sharing things like cooking recipes, beauty tutorials, education content and comedy sketches. However, the new 30-minute limit would open up a new type of content that wasn’t possible with the previous time limits, and that is the ability to upload full episodes of TV shows.
Last year, Peacock made episode one of ‘Killing It’ available to watch for free on TikTok, but it was broken up into five parts. With this new 30-minute limit, networks would no longer have to break up an episode into multiple parts, and could instead post entire episodes in one video on TikTok. Networks are already using TikTok to reach viewers, and the new upload time limit could entice them to share content on TikTok.
Of course, we have to consider the side of the viewer. Not everyone wants longer videos on TikTok, especially because most people go to the platform for quick, short videos. There’s already talk about how TikTok is ruining people’s attention spans, so longer videos may not be a welcome addition for some. But, TikTok has been preparing to make longer videos easier to watch, as the company has been testing a horizontal full screen mode in some regions.
Plus, TikTok seems to be aware that not everyone has an appetite for long videos, as it rolled out a feature last year that lets you fast-forward videos by holding down the right-side of a video.
As with any test feature, it’s unknown when or if TikTok plans to launch the 30-minute video upload option widely to all users.
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