TikTok Extends Video Length to 10 Minutes–So, Is Long the New Short?

It’s been a long time coming. 

The popular short-form-video platform, which has redefined the way other major social media platforms–namely Meta and YouTube– tackle content over the past couple of years, has officially extended the length of its videos to 10 minutes following extensive beta testing and ongoing speculation. 

The change, which was recently announced at the end of February, is the latest of many extensions made to TikTok’s time limit since the app launched in 2017. Originally, TikTok allowed videos of up to 15 seconds, before increasing it to one minute. In July 2021, it upped the limit to three minutes, before more than doubling that length a couple weeks ago.

While an additional seven minutes may not–at first–seem like an earth-shattering move, it could have a dramatic ripple effect, considering TikTok’s heavy influence on content trends in the social media space, not just for users, but for competing platforms looking to keep up with the fast-booming app. Other popular platforms like Instagram and YouTube, embraced the short-form-video trend and enjoyed tremendous success with Reels and YouTube Shorts, respectively. 

For short-attention-spanned audiences, short-form videos, namely those under three minutes, have risen in popularity over the longer formats of yesteryear, thanks in large part to their captivating hooks and easy-to-digest content. 

In fact, it’s estimated that this year, videos under three minutes will account for 80% of all internet traffic and 40% of all videos consumed on social media channels!

With short-form-video ad revenue estimated to exceed $10 billion this year, it’s natural for brands that have evolved their creative strategies to align with the success of TikTok to scratch their heads. 

However, the wildly successful platform welcomes and celebrates this change, clearly appreciating the benefits that come with more time for creative expression and foreseeing a positive reception of it by users once the functionality is available.

While there are still many unknowns on what this will mean for Paid Social, we spoke to the experts at both TikTok and MuteSix to learn more. Here’s the long and short of what extending video length capabilities on TikTok means.

When Will the 10-Minute Video Capability Rollout Happen?

TikTok is phasing out its rollout across markets, with all markets except Burma having access by the end of April.

Will Users Still Be Able to Create Short Videos?


Why Has TikTok Decided to Extend Its Video Length Capabilities?

For TikTok, it’s all about giving creators the ability and flexibility to express themselves without limits. According to TikTok, “Since releasing longer videos last year, we’ve been inspired by all the unique ways our communities used the extended format to share stories, entertain, and express their creativity. Our decision to expand is a response to our community’s positive response to longer videos and creator feedback, and aligns with our commitment to giving creators the tools they need to create without limits.”

Will Any Content Creator Effects or Tools Be Impacted by the Longer Length?

Some features, like Duet and Stitch, are not compatible with longer videos at this time. Most creative effects and editing tools will remain available for use in longer videos, however, some sound music options will be different for videos longer than one minute.

Will This Branch Out Into the Paid Social Space?

As of now, TikTok isn’t confirming anything specific pertaining to how or if this will apply to the monetization or ad formats yet, but plans on keeping industry insiders updated as the new feature continues to scale. 

Does MuteSix Think Long Will Be the New Short?

It’s too soon to tell. But, we do know, given both long and short options will be available, both remain relevant and we shouldn’t choose one over the other just yet. Extensive testing will be necessary to determine which ultimately performs best organically based on a wide range of criteria. 

As the option remains available only for organic purposes, MuteSix is thus keeping a close watch on its potential encroachment upon the paid ads space. 

According to Josh Henry-Hicks, VP Paid Social at MuteSix, “This is something to keep an eye on. Longer format allows for greater viewership, which translates to more impressions  and, therefore, more opportunities to drive sales through paid ads.” Extending the length could, according to Henry-Hicks, “give brands more time to tell their brand story, educate users on their products, and leverage new creative tactics to convert viewers into purchasers.”

For example, for brands with higher price points, such as fitness equipment, seven additional minutes allow advertisers to devote more time educating consumers on their product, which is often necessary to compel shoppers to pull the trigger on pricey investments. 

Additionally, MuteSix anticipates that platform-savvy and experimental TikTok content creators will jump on board quickly. Our team of Influencer Marketing specialists look forward to seeing how TikTok content creators use these additional seven minutes to engage their audiences–which includes influencing purchasing decisions. They will also turn their attention to how audiences respond to it by looking to impressions, audience engagement, and follower growth.  

Given TikTok’s influence on content trends and the race for other social media platforms to meet and exceed them, this is definitely a shift worth watching so as to ensure brands are leveraging best practices straight out of the gate once it’s available to outperform competitors.

To learn more about the TikTok video length update and see what this means for you, reach out to the MuteSix experts today.