TikTok Tests 30-Minute Video Uploads

TikTok, the social media platform turned short-form video into a global sensation, is further encroaching on YouTube's long-form video territory.

On Tuesday, social-media consultant Matt Navarra shared a screenshot from TikTok that shows TikTok testing the option for users to upload 30-minute long videos to the app.

“TikTok is coming for your long form YouTube videos,” Navarra posted on Threads after spotting the new uploading time in the beta version of the video-sharing app.

While 30-minute uploads may seem off-brand for TikTok, which influenced every leading social media-platform to adopt and develop its own short-form video features -- including YouTube’s Shorts feature -- the company has been expanding upload lengths for years now.

The original TikTok feed allowed 15-second clips, which extended to minute-long clips.



From there, the company stretched upload times to 3 minutes, then 5 minutes, and then 10 minutes in March 2022, in attempts to boost ad revenue and usher in a more diverse selection of videos.

In October 2023, TikTok added the option for 15-minute-long uploads, solidifying its decision to enter into YouTube’s area of expertise while following the lead of its Chinese doppelganger app Douyin, which expanded its upload limit to 30 minutes in 2022.

Generally, TikTok is attempting to devise a reliable monetization strategy.

YouTube shares the income from ads shown within each original clip with creators. Thus, longer uploads offer higher payouts, and therefore keep creators invested in the platform.

On TikTok, however, pre- and mid-roll ad formats are not available for shorter videos.

By expanding video length, TikTok is telling creators it will pay them more for their work.

With 30-minute videos, TikTok is also allowing for additional content types to be shown and shared across the platform, like full episodes of TV shows. The app has experimented with showing full episodes of shows before but they were broken up into multiple parts.

The new upload time may sway networks to share more content to the platform.

It is unclear when TikTok will expand its current test of 30-minute-long uploads.

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