TikTok is adopting longer videos. The company has now announced that it will release the option to create videos up to 3 minutes in length after an initial first test that was limited to a few content creators.
Previously, TikTok videos could be up to 60 seconds long, after the initial 15-second clip expansion. This 60-second video format had already been copied by new TikTok competitors such as Snapchat Spotlight and YouTube Shorts.
According to TikTok, the company decided to expand its maximum video length based on the feedback it heard from its creator community. For some types of content, creators wanted more time and flexibility when filming – such as when filming cooking demonstrations, beauty tutorials and educational content, for example.
“With longer videos, creators will have the opportunity for new or increased types of content in TikTok, with the flexibility of a little more space,” explained TikTok Product Manager Drew Kirchhoff at company announcement.
Before expanding to 3 minutes, many creators worked around the limitations of TikTok, encouraging viewers to “like and follow them” in part 2 (or 3, or 4…) of their video series. This may have worked to gain some additional followers, but it became frustrating for viewers who didn’t want to scroll through the creators’ other videos just to find the rest of the video content they were following.
This change in video length could make TikTok even more of a competitor to YouTube, which has been concerned enough about TikTok’s growth into a competing feature, YouTube Shorts. But TikTok understands that its platform advantage is not the size of the videos, but the combination of features it offers – including its extensive library of special effects, AR tools, music catalog and the dialogue created between creators through of specialized tools.
Just recently, Instagram boss Adam Mosseri said the Facebook application historically associated with photo sharing will soon begin experimenting with making videos a more central part of the Instagram experience. He promised Instagram would test new ways to bet better on video, including “full-screen, immersive, fun, smartphone-priority video,” while also noting that “there’s really serious competition right now. TikTok is huge. YouTube is even bigger,” he noted.
TikTok started testing 3-minute videos at the end of last year. The company says that the option to shoot longer videos will be rolled out to global users in the coming weeks. Users will be notified when they receive the update.