By: Nick Gambino
Yes, you read that right. Get ready cause everyone’s favorite time-wasting social app TikTok is testing 15-minute long videos. I don’t know if we’ll survive this as a human race if I’m being honest.
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Since catching fire during the pandemic, TikTok has added a number of features to its app, one of the more recent being still photos, expanding it beyond videos. The company confirmed to TechCrunch that the “new upload limit is being tested in select regions with a limited group of users.”
One of the things that made TikTok so popular is that they fully embraced short-form videos. It was their bread and butter. When they first launched, videos were capped at 15 seconds. While they have gradually extended it over time, it took off in popularity when they were between one and three minutes long.
This format proved so successful that YouTube and Instagram copied it with Shorts and Reels, respectively. There was something about entertaining or educational videos where you could quickly digest and move onto the next one that just clicked with people.
They eventually added the ability to make 10-minute videos, a sign they were moving away from bite-sized content. It didn’t seem to slow down their popularity which is probably why they are now looking at extending it to 15 minutes. But they also made it clear they weren’t going to be pigeonholed to just video.
The recent introduction of Photo Mode in your feed can be annoying. You expect to play a video but instead find yourself having to scroll through a bunch of memes. We already have platforms like Instagram that allow you to do that. Of course, the name of the game in tech is “innovate or die,” so who can blame them. Plus, with Instagram copying them with Reels, why not copy back.
“Tech, from a commercial standpoint, is ruthlessly competitive,” Andrew Tropeano, a technology expert with NWT Media (www.nwtmediagroup.com), said. “It’s not a ‘there’s room for everyone on the mountain’ industry. These companies are aware of the fact that they must constantly update in order to stay relevant.”
Like a lot of features that are tested, we may never see long-form videos get a wide rollout on TikTok, but if I were a betting man, I’d say it’s likely.