Experts say TikTok’s choice to allow viewers to upload lengthier films was a wise one. They point out that this broadens the range of options for content creators, but it doesn’t necessarily imply that TikTok’s platform is suddenly superior to Google’s YouTube Shorts.
Last week, TikTok announced that everyone in the world would be able to upload films up to 10 minutes long. The new video limit is available on both mobile devices and the desktop web, including the greatest Android phones.
This is the company’s second rise in video restrictions; the first came in July 2021, when users could submit videos up to three minutes long.
In an interview, social media strategist Matt Navarra thinks the company’s move isn’t shocking. He continues, “It gives people much more creative space to do different types of content or actual shows, or the headroom to make longer pieces of content, which they wouldn’t be able to do with the current limits.”
Interestingly, Navarra claims that while this would directly compete with YouTube, it would also allow TikTok to compete with subscription services such as Netflix and Disney+ in the future.
Apart from that, he claims, it puts TikTok on par with, or even closer to, YouTube. Longer-form video is where YouTube has already prospered, therefore TikTok will now be able to compete effectively with the company.
TikTok, on the other hand, might want to think about a strategy to group films of various lengths, according to Navarra.
Longer videos on TikTok’s platform are a “clear indication,” according to Anshel Sag, a senior analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, of the appetite for long-form content even on platforms like TikTok, which is built for shorter videos.
“Even with three-minute videos, there are still multi-part videos,” he continues, “which I believe most users despise when there’s a story to tell.”
“I believe [TikTok] is moving in the opposite direction as [YouTube Shorts], filling a gap on the platform that TikTok believes it has and finding a way to keep enabling growth.” I don’t believe it will be a significant growth driver, but I believe it will help some authors convey their stories more effectively.”
TikTok is vying to grow its market, users, and creative potential, according to Richard Lachman, an associate professor at Ryerson University and a social media expert.
“Right now, there’s some content that doesn’t ‘work’ on TikTok and has to live on YouTube.” “[TikTok] aspires to be everything to everyone,” he says.
However, Lachman points out that TikTok and YouTube cater to quite different audiences, and that there are still some individuals who don’t “get TikTok,” and that those who do tend to be younger.
“Thus, while the audience may not grow, their existing audience’s time on platform may grow,” he argues.
While YouTube is the inventor of the entire internet video market, according to Carmi Levy, a Canadian technology analyst, it has always been Google’s to lose.
“While TikTok’s popularity among younger users has made the space far more competitive than it was when YouTube was the king of the hill,” he says, “recent experience shows creators seamlessly crossing over between the two platforms, often cross-posting content and related commercial links to drive ad revenue on both sides.”
Though TikTok has done a tremendous job at capturing that younger audience, he believes YouTube has done a better job of staying relevant to its “admittedly broader audience, while also appealing to the new generation of TikTokkers as option B on their palette of preferred platforms.”
While TikTok is focusing on longer videos while YouTube Shorts is focusing on shorter ones, Navarra claims that this does not make one company more successful than the other.
“I believe they’ll both succeed, but for different reasons. I believe YouTube is already well-established and provides those opportunities for creators to generate money, as well as all of the necessary creative tools. Its current challenge is to grow that vertical feed while also encouraging existing and new creators to contribute to Shorts. However, it faces the difficulty of not being TikTok and lacking the brand appeal and feel that comes with being on TikTok. “That’s extremely difficult to duplicate,” he says.
Trying to keep people’s attention spans who have been conditioned to shorter videos on the site will be difficult for TikTok, according to Navarra.
Nonetheless, Sag believes TikTok is still doing a far better job than the other sites.
While both TikTok and Shorts have hurdles in moving in various directions, Lachman believes TikTok’s algorithm, which has appeared to be quite good up to this point, may be a weakness.
“One of TikTok’s biggest competitive advantages seemed to be their recommendation algorithm,” he adds, adding that short-form videos assist provide data points frequently from every time someone scrolls, pauses, likes, or swipes to view a creator’s profile.
“Shorter videos give you more opportunities to train the algorithm.” TikTok may lose that advantage if it switches to long-form video since the ‘speed’ at which they receive data would diminish. This will affect the accuracy of their algorithm, their user targeting models, and, if users notice, their ad revenue,” Lachman argues.
Levy agrees, noting that the decision to make TikTok videos longer was likely not an easy one, but that the adjustment offers up new revenue streams for TikTok.
“This isn’t a decision to be taken lightly, as it could have a major impact on TikTok’s back-end infrastructure.” “However, when you’re a global player with industry-leading growth stats and seemingly limitless demand from an entire generation for what you have to offer, you invest in the necessary engineering to meet that demand and stay ahead of the curve,” he argues.