TikTok’s success as one of the world’s most popular video platforms, particularly among younger generations, has prompted competitors to emulate its vertical scrolling short-form approach.

Major competitors YouTube and Meta both provide TikTok-like goods in YouTube Shorts and Reels. Even long-established publishers are incorporating ultra-short-form bits into their web pages.

However, longer-form content continues to hold significant power, both with audiences and with advertisers seeking to connect themselves with more premium material. As a result, TikTok has started pushing back in the opposite way, allowing longer movies to be submitted to its platform. Its original formula only allowed films that were 15 seconds or fewer lengthy, but it has since increased that limit to one minute, three minutes, and ten minutes.

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TikTok is now going even farther, stating that it is testing the ability for select users to upload films that are up to an hour long.

TikTok informed TechCrunch that there are no imminent plans to make the functionality broadly available, but the platform appears to be taking these experiments seriously. TikTok was also spotted attempting 30-minute uploads earlier this year. And the business claims that longer upload durations will allow users to generate more diverse forms of material, and that some artists are already attempting to create long-form content by publishing many videos addressing the same narrative or topic.

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TikTok faces a challenge as it expands into long-form content. The platform’s feed is built for users to quickly switch between videos, so it must be tailored to capture their attention right away – a formula that does not work well for longer-form material.

TikTok has previously admitted that longer content disrupts the experience for some of its users. In 2022, the business reported that nearly half of those polled found movies more than one minute long distressing, and one-third of them watched at least some videos at twice the speed.

However, this clearly does not apply to all users. Longer content may be particularly appealing to artists and sponsors.

According to TikTok, longer upload limitations would allow creators to distribute a variety of content on the platform. For example, video podcasting formats, which have increased in popularity alongside the rise of ultra-short form, could reach new audiences on TikTok. Longer instructive, educational, and video essay-style videos, which are now mostly available on YouTube, could also be adapted for TikTok.

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Even established broadcasters and publications may add premium long-form content to the app as they seek to grow their own TikTok following. Channel 4, for example, is currently boosting the number of full episodes of TV shows it broadcasts on YouTube; similar techniques may be applied to TikTok as well.

This would also have significant repercussions for TikTok’s ad business. While ultra-short form video is immensely popular among viewers, particularly youthful audiences, it has proven more difficult to monetize than long-form video. TikTok’s CPMs are still widely regarded to be lower than those of competing sites.

Adding longer form material might provide TikTok with access to a far larger pool of premium, advertising-friendly inventory. It would also make it easy for TikTok to run standard pre-roll and mid-roll advertisements, as well as lengthier ads, making it easier to swiftly integrate TikTok into a media strategy alongside other products. It may also open up prospects in the CTV arena, which is now a major focus for YouTube and where X hopes to develop itself.