TikTok takes on YouTube with 10-minute long videosVish Gainon March 1, 2022 at 11:51 Silicon RepublicSilicon Republic

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TikTok has started rolling out a new feature that will allow users to post videos up to 10 minutes long, in an attempt to tap into the long-video market and compete with the like of YouTube.

A spokesperson from the Chinese video giant said that users will now be able to upload 10-minute long videos “which we hope would unleash even more creative possibilities for our creators around the world”.

Chris Stokel-Walker, a tech journalist and author of TikTok Boom, first broke the news on Twitter when he tweeted a spokesperson’s response after asking them to clear air around anticipation of another increase to the platform’s video length limit.

NEW: A TikTok spokesperson confirms we’re all getting 10-minute videos. “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.”

— Chris Stokel-Walker (@stokel) February 28, 2022

TikTok started off as a short video platform that focused on mostly 15-second videos. The length limit was later increased to up to 60 seconds to accommodate longer videos and attract more creators to its platform.

Counterintuitive move

This latest move is seen as the company’s attempt to compete with the likes of YouTube that hosts long videos – allowing for more advertisements and potentially more time spent on the app per user.

Creators are also expected to get the chance to do more with the 7-minute boost to video length, with new opportunities for monetising their content.

However, the move is also seen as counterintuitive to what users want from the app. According to internal TikTok survey data seen by Wired, most users have very short attention spans and social media users are “flooded with large amounts of video content”.

Nearly 50pc of users surveyed by TikTok said videos longer than a minute were stressful and that one in every three users watched videos online at double speed.

But longer videos, such as those on YouTube, pull in more revenue and are necessary for the app to grow beyond its current market-share, which the company leads in the short-video app section.

The fact that TikTok is going ahead with this move means that it is unlikely last year’s decision to increase the limit to three minutes did any substantial harm to its viewership.

TikTok’s move also comes at a time when other popular platforms such as YouTube and Instagram are trying to appeal to the short-form video audience with shorter videos in the form of YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels – both rolled out in 2020 to directly compete with TikTok.

In December, TikTok emerged as the most popular domain in terms of internet traffic at the end of 2021, according to Cloudflare data, overtaking all US Big Tech companies.

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