Short-form video app TikTok is putting a couple more minutes on the clock.
The company said it will expand the canvas for users globally — tripling the length of videos they can share in a single post, from 60 seconds to three minutes.
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Why the change? The longer videos will “pav[e] the way for more storytelling and entertainment on TikTok,” according to product manager Drew Kirchhoff, who announced the feature in a blog post.
TikTok users already have been posting longer-form video segments, broken into multiple parts — “we all know the phrase, ‘like and follow for part 3,'” Kirchhoff noted. But he said the company has heard from users that “they’d love just a little more time to bring their cooking demos, elaborate beauty tutorials, educational lesson plans, and comedic sketches to life with TikTok’s creative tools.”
It goes without saying that TikTok is hoping the three-minute max also will result in users spending more time in the app. And it will potentially give TikTok a competitive edge on Instagram’s copycat Reels feature, which is currently limited to 60-second videos. Citing competition from TikTok and YouTube, Instagram boss Adam Mosseri on Wednesday said video is one of the main areas the Facebook-owned app will “lean into” going forward, with plans to roll out full-screen in-feed videos among other features.
TikTok, the hugely popular social-video app owned by Chinese internet giant ByteDance, in the last several months has been letting select creators experiment with the longer three-minute format. Over the coming weeks, TikTok will be rolling out the option to create longer videos to everyone on the app, according to Kirchhoff. Users will receive a notification in the TikTok app once they have access to the three-minute video feature.
TikTok shared examples from creators who have been making longer content. Those include taylorcassidyj, who has become popular with her Black history videos, with a post documenting the story of a woman who posed as a slave to spy in the Civil War; sad_papi, showing how to make Brazilian chicken croquettes; asta.darling, who shared a video of herself dressing in Victorian garb; and chowderthebulldog, with the pup’s tips for safe canine skateboarding.
“With all the ways our community has redefined expression in under 60 seconds, we’re excited to see how people continue to entertain and inspire with a few more seconds – and a world of creative possibilities,” Kirchhoff wrote.
Last month, the Biden administration officially revoked Donald Trump’s executive orders that sought to ban TikTok over alleged national security concerns, while President Biden also ordered the Commerce Department to investigate apps with ties to foreign adversaries that may pose a risk to U.S. data privacy or national security.
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