YouTube stole from TikTok, now it’s time for revenge

  • In a twist, TikTok is testing longer YouTube-like videos.
  • In the past, the likes of YouTube and Instagram took the short-form video feed idea from TikTok.
  • Only a few creators have received the permission to upload hour-long videos on TikTok.

Usually, it’s everyone else stealing ideas from TikTok, China’s super-popular time-melting short-form video app, but today it seems TikTok is taking a page from YouTube’s playbook and is testing longer videos on the platform – as long as 60 minutes.

While long-form videos are not a YouTube “invention” by any stretch of the imagination, the Google-owned platform has been the leader in terms of long-form video content for the last decade, easily beating out “rivals” like DailyMotion and Vimeo.

Enter TikTok and with its short-form videos and fine-tuned algorithm quickly started beating out YouTube in average user watch time, a feat many believed impossible until it happened. Everyone else started testing their own short-form video feeds in order to attract a portion of the TikTok watch time.

YouTube brought out Shorts, while Instagram launched Reels and for a good while it seemed that long videos were poison for these companies as it is alleged that YouTube started adjusting its algorithm to favour shorter videos and recommend them more to viewers than longer ones.

But reports that TikTok allowing 60-minute-plus videos on its platform may shake up this notion. The platform is now allowing a select group of users from a few regions to upload hour-long videos on both the desktop and mobile app versions of TikTok, but according to a TechCrunch report, TikTok doesn’t currently have designs to roll out the feature to the general userbase, or so it claims.

According to a TikTok spokesperson, creators have long requested video ideas like full cooking tutorials, educational lessons, beauty demos, comedy sketches and more that aren’t possible with the current five-minute-long video limit on the platform.

But despite what TikTok says, having hour-long videos on the platform provides several benefits for more than just users. It provides competition for YouTube, as creators could begin uploading their videos usually reserved for the Google platform on TikTok as well, and it could also open up the possibility of hosting TV shows on the platform.

Users already spend considerable time watching series broken up in five-minute blocks on TikTok, and Peacock even debuted the first episode of its Killing It series on TikTok, again broken into five-minute blocks.

It’s shaping up to be an interesting year for TikTok, now with the testing of this feature, and its future in the United States, one of its biggest markets, on the chopping block.

[Image – Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash]


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