In brief: TikTok has gained over one billion monthly users in the five years since it first launched outside of China, a popularity it enjoys thanks to the short-form videos on the app that are usually less than a minute long. But its most defining feature is changing.
TikTok is now rolling out an update to its platform that will increase the maximum length of videos users can upload to 10 minutes. The app became famous for its 15-second-max clips, which were eventually increased to 60 seconds. That limit was pushed up to 3 minutes in July last year.
“We’re always thinking about new ways to bring value to our community and enrich the TikTok experience. Last year, we introduced longer videos, giving our community more time to create and be entertained on TikTok,” a spokesperson from TikTok said in a statement. “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.”
TikTok’s continuing increase in the maximum length of its videos suggests it wants to compete more directly with YouTube. The move will allow users to make longer videos and could also appeal to some older audiences, but many people like TikTok precisely because it’s the home of shorter clips that reward brevity and creativity. These force users to think of clever ways to make compelling content under a minute long that captures the attention of potential new followers.
It appears that many TikTok fans are opposed to the change.
I did not want or ask for this!! people already struggle to be succinct and clear storytellers on TikTok pic.twitter.com/NwKA6nVq2D— Sophie Nunberg (@fwarg) February 28, 2022
Some noted that the extended videos allow more opportunities to spread misinformation at a time when the internet is rife with fake news.
"What if we roll out a feature that more than triples the length of videos during an international misinformation crisis?"— Olivia Little (@OliviaLittle) February 28, 2022
-💖 TikTok https://t.co/u5eJDgKEoY
While TikTok tries to be more like its rivals, social media companies, including Instagram, Snapchat, and even YouTube, have introduced short-form video sections in a bid to attract younger users.
The 10-minute-maximum video length is rolling out globally over the next few weeks. Users need to be on the latest version of the app, and they will be notified upon receiving the update.