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TikTok Confirms that 10 Minute Video Uploads are Coming to All Users

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TikTok Faces Creator Backlash Over Flawed Payment Models


Short-form video is the trend of the moment, and with attention spans reducing, and new engagement behaviors taking hold, particularly among younger demographics, it seems like short-form interaction is here to stay, which is why every platform is now following TikTok’s lead into the next phase of video connection.

But effective monetization of short-form video is hard.

Vine found this out the hard way – while Vine was hugely popular at one stage, and kick-started the careers of many now well-known stars, Vine’s parent company Twitter could never work out how to generate significant revenue from Vine clips, because you can’t insert pre or mid-roll ads into such short content. That, eventually, saw its biggest stars moving on to greener pastures, which eventually also forced Vine to shut down.

TikTok is well-aware of this, and it’s well-aware of the increased direct monetization potential on offer in other apps, which is a big part of why today TikTok has confirmed that all users will soon be able to upload 10 minute long videos in the app, a significant expansion on its current time limits.

As you can see in this alert, posted by social media expert Matt Navarra, many TikTok users are now being notified of an expansion in their upload capacity.

TikTok has since confirmed the full roll-out of the option (to TechCrunch):

“We’re always thinking about new ways to bring value to our community and enrich the TikTok experience. Last year, we introduced longer videos, giving our community more time to create and be entertained on TikTok. Today, we’re excited to start rolling out the ability to upload videos that are up to 10 minutes, which we hope would unleash even more creative possibilities for our creators around the world.”

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That previous expansion in video length came last August, with users given the option to upload 5 minute long clips.

TikTok 5 minute clips

Originally, TikTok’s time limit per clip was 15 seconds, before being extended to 60 seconds, then 3 minutes. Now, users will be able to upload much longer clips, which could actually have a big impact on how people consume content in the app, and in many ways, it’s a risky bet for TikTok, which has built its audience, thus far, on the back of short, pithy memes and responses.

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Will users really welcome 10 minute long videos in their ‘For You’ feed?

TikTok does, of course, also have longer live-streams which are displayed in the main feed, and those haven’t caused any engagement issues thus far, while some creators have also been able to post longer uploads for some time. So it does have some insight as to the potential impact of longer uploads on audience behaviors, while the Chinese version of TikTok, ‘Douyin’, has enabled 15 minute uploads for all users since 2019.

So it’s not going in blind here, TikTok does have some understanding of how users are likely to respond, and how to best present longer clips in-stream. But it’ll be interesting to see whether there is an impact on user behavior and interest, and whether TikTok can successfully extend user engagement in the app, which could lead to a much broader set of content and advertising options.

Which is the real push here. Again, given the challenges in monetizing short-form video content, it’s seemed inevitable that TikTok would eventually need to lean into longer form uploads in order to provide more direct monetization potential for creators. YouTube, for example, is looking to use its TikTok-like ‘Shorts’ option as a supplementary content vehicle for its creators, so that they can then drive more interest in their main content feed, where they can make much more money from in-stream ads.

The potential for making real money from your uploads is far greater on YouTube, which brought in $28.8 billion in ad revenue last year, with around half of that going back to creators. TikTok has its $500 million creator fund, as well as tipping and donations, but those options don’t come close to facilitating similar earnings capacity in this respect.

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And TikTok’s already feeling the pressure. Last month, well-known video creator Hank Green posted a video in which he outlined how TikTok’s creator funding models are fundamentally flawed, and how, eventually, that’ll likely lead to a creator revolt, as they seek a bigger slice of the revenue pie.

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TikTok hasn’t provided any public response to this, despite Green’s video reaching almost a million views and sparking new questions about its longevity.

Maybe this, then, is TikTok’s answer, giving creators the capacity to actually generate direct revenue via longer clips, a direct monetization offering more in line with what they’ll see on YouTube.

Will that work?

Time will tell, but again, I’d have to see it to believe that TikTok users will actively and regularly engage with longer form clips.

Maybe they will, maybe this is the start of the next phase for TikTok, and that will be the thing that propels it to the next stage of growth, and the next billion users. But maybe not. Vine also tried expanding its video length, with no luck, and with TikTok also coming under scrutiny over the spread of misinformation in the app, particularly around the current Ukraine crisis, the expansion could also open up a range of new problems for the platform to deal with, on a scale that it’s not had to address in the past.

Which is likely why it’s taking a staged approach to the roll out – but longer videos are coming, and you’ll soon see new trends starting to form around longer clips within the app. Whether you like it or not.

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Meta’s Adding More Ad Targeting Information to its Ad Library Listings

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Meta's Adding More Ad Targeting Information to its Ad Library Listings

In the wake of the Cambridge Analytics scandal, Meta has implemented a range of data protection measures to ensure that it limits access to users’ personal data and insight, while at the same time, it’s also been working to provide more transparency into how its systems are being used by different groups to target their messaging.

These conflicting approaches require a delicate balance, one which Meta has largely been able to maintain via its Ad Library, which enables anyone to see any ad being run by any Facebook Page in the recent past.

Now, Meta’s looking to add to that insight, with new information being added to the Ad Library on how Pages are using social issue, electoral or political ads in their process.

Meta ad targeting

As you can see here, the updated Ad Library overview will include more specific information on how each advertiser is using these more sensitive targeting options, which could help researchers detect misuse or report concerns.

As explained by Meta:

“At the end of this month, detailed targeting information for social issue, electoral or political ads will be made available to vetted academic researchers through the Facebook Open Research and Transparency (FORT) environment […] Coming in July, our publicly available Ad Library will also include a summary of targeting information for social issue, electoral or political ads run after launch. This update will include data on the total number of social issue, electoral and political ads a Page ran using each type of targeting (such as location, demographics and interests) and the percentage of social issue, electoral and political ad spend used to target those options.”

That’s a significant update for Meta’s ad transparency efforts, which will help researchers better understand key trends in ad usage, and how they relate to messaging resonance and response.

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Meta has come under scrutiny over such in the past, with independent investigations finding that housing ads, for example, were illegally using race-based exclusions in their ad targeting. That led to Meta changing its rules on how its exclusions can be used, and this new expansion could eventually lead to similar, by making discriminatory ad targeting easier to identify, with direct examples from Meta’s system.

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For regular advertisers, it could also give you some additional insight into your competitors’ tactics. You might find more detailed information on how other brands are honing in on specific audiences, which may not be discriminatory, but may highlight new angles for your own marketing efforts.

It’s a good transparency update, which should glean significant benefits for researchers trying to better understand how Meta’s intricate ad targeting system is being used in various ways.

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