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TikTok videos get longer in challenge to YouTube

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TikTok is more than tripling the top length of shared videos to 10 minutes in a growing challenge to YouTube.


TikTok is more than tripling the top length of shared videos to 10 minutes in a growing challenge to YouTube. – Copyright AFP/File Kazuhiro NOGI

TikTok on Monday began letting users upload videos as long as 10 minutes, ramping up the young platform’s challenge to veteran titan YouTube.

TikTok, owned by ByteDance in China, launched with a one-minute limit on uploaded videos, but bumped the cap to three minutes last year.

“Today we are happy to start rolling out the ability to upload videos up to 10 minutes long,” TikTok said in response to an AFP inquiry.

“We hope this will further stimulate the creativity of our creators around the world.”

TikTok more than tripling the length of videos comes as YouTube and Facebook-parent Meta strive to counter the rival with short-form content options and incentives to creators whose posts draw audiences.

“YouTube is still ahead of TikTok in terms of time spent, but its not immune to the ‘TikTok effect’,” Insider Intelligence analyst Jasmine Enberg told AFP.

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“The gap in time spent between the two platforms is narrow, and longer videos could help TikTok catch up in terms of both eyeballs and engagement.”

Longer videos could also enable TikTok creators make more money and boost the platforms advertising business, the analyst added.

YouTube recently laid out goals for this year that included making the lives of creators easier and boosting a popular format that rivals TikTok.

The video-sharing platform is investing in short-form and live video, along with tools to help creators make money and produce fresh content, according to chief product officer Neal Mohan.

“YouTube creators are the heart and soul of the platform,” Mohan said in a blog post.

“To give them every opportunity possible, we’ll continue to invest across our multiple formats.”

Short-form content like the video snippets that are a winning ingredient at TikTok are incredibly popular. YouTube’s take on the concept, called “Shorts,” has logged more than five trillion all-time views, according to Mohan.

Short videos, typically made using smartphones, can be as long as 60 seconds, with music and comedy as popular themes.

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Facebook and Instagram parent Meta has its own spin on the offering called Reels, which chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has said is a priority for the tech firm and growing fast.



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YouTube Tests Improved Comment Removal Notifications, Updated Video Performance and Hashtag Insights

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YouTube Expands its 'Pre-Publish Checks' Tool to the Mobile App

YouTube’s looking to provide more context on content removals and violations, while it’s also experimenting with a new form of analytics on average video performance benchmarks, along with improved hashtag discovery, which could impact your planning and process.

First off, on policy violations – YouTube’s looking to provide more context on comment removals via an updated system that will link users through to the exact policy that they’ve violated when a comment is removed.

As explained by YouTube’s Conor Kavanagh:

“Many users have told us that they would like to know if and when their comment has been removed for violating one of our Community Guidelines. Additionally, we want to protect creators from a single user’s ability to negatively impact the community via comments, either on a single channel or multiple channels.”

The new comment removal notification aims to address this, by providing more context as to when a comment has been removed for violating the platform’s Community Guidelines.

In expansion of this, YouTube will also put some users into timeout if they keep breaking the rules. Literally:

If someone leaves multiple abusive comments, they may receive a temporary timeout which will block the ability to comment for up to 24 hours.”

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YouTube says that this will hopefully reduce the amount of abusive comments across the platform, while also adding more transparency to the process, in order to help people understand how they’ve broken the rules, which could also help to guide future behavior.

On a similar note, YouTube’s also expanding its test of timestamps in Community Guidelines policy violation notifications for publishers, which provide more specific details on when a violation has occurred in video clips.

Initially only available for violations of its ‘Harmful and Dangerous’ policy, YouTube’s now expanding these notifiers to violations related to ‘Child Safety’, ‘Suicide and Self-Harm’, and ‘Violent or Graphic’.

If you’re in the experiment, you’ll see these timestamps in YouTube Studio as well as over email if we believe a violation has occurred. We hope these timestamps are useful in understanding why your video violated our policies and we hope to expand to more policies over time.”

On another front, YouTube’s also testing a new analytics card in YouTube Studio which will show creators the typical amount of views they get on different formats, including VODs, Shorts, and live streams.

YouTube average video performance

As you can see in this example, the new data card will provide insight into the average amount of views you see in each format, based on your the last 10 uploads in each, which could provide more comparative context on performance.

Finally, YouTube’s also launched a test that aims to showcase more relevant hashtags on video clips.

“We’re launching an experiment to elevate the hashtags on a video’s watch page that we’ve found viewers are interested in, instead of just the first few added to the video’s description. Hashtags are still chosen by creators themselves – nothing is changing there – the goal of the experiment is simply to drive more engagement with hashtags while connecting viewers with content they will likely enjoy.”

So YouTube will be looking to highlight more relevant hashtags in video clips, as a means to better connect users to more video clips on the same topic.

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Which could put more emphasis on hashtag use – so it could be time to upgrade your hashtag research approach in line with the latest trending topics.

All of these updates are fairly minor, but they could impact your YouTube approach, and it’s worth considering the potential impacts in your process.

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