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From Shorts to Hours: TikTok’s Leap into Long-Form Content

  • TikTok is testing 60-minute video uploads for some users, potentially challenging YouTube and streaming services like Netflix.
  • This feature could attract viewers with longer content, shifting some viewership from traditional streaming platforms to TikTok.

TikTok is now testing a feature that allows some users to upload 60-minute videos, potentially challenging YouTube and other streaming giants. However, it’s unclear where this update is available and when it might be rolled out more widely. TikTok has stated it doesn’t plan to expand this feature broadly right away.

This move comes as TikTok looks to diversify its offerings amid slowing user growth. Initially, TikTok only allowed 60-second videos. Over time, the limit increased to 10 minutes for all users, and up to 15 minutes for some creators. TikTok’s competitors, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts, have similar video length limits.

Allowing longer videos positions TikTok to compete more directly with YouTube, enabling creators to upload content that benefits from extended durations, such as detailed tutorials or personal vlogs. While YouTube still has a larger user base in the US—over 80% of adults have used YouTube compared to 33% for TikTok—TikTok is leading in terms of time spent on the app. Last year, adults on TikTok were projected to spend an average of 55 minutes per day, five minutes more than on YouTube.

Meanwhile, Google is reportedly encouraging its ad sales team to discuss the potential benefits with clients in light of a possible US ban on TikTok.

The introduction of longer videos could also pose a threat to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+. TikTok users already watch unofficial short clips of popular TV shows and movies. With the ability to upload longer videos, this type of content consumption might increase, potentially drawing viewers away from traditional streaming platforms.

Television networks are already engaging with TikTok. For example, last year, the streaming service Peacock uploaded the pilot episode of its comedy show “Killing It” to TikTok in five parts, garnering millions of views. With longer video uploads, full episodes could be posted in a single video, potentially shifting viewership from streaming services to TikTok.

TikTok has not yet responded to requests for comment regarding this update.

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