Could TikTok be looking to get creators more aligned with the horizontal display format?
The platform that popularized full-screen vertical videos is now seemingly pushing some creators towards horizontally shot content instead, according to screenshots posted by some users.
As per TikTok:
“Landscape videos, where the width is greater than the height and are over 1 minute in length, are the only ones eligible to receive increased views.”
Any videos that meet the stated requirements will be boosted in the app for 72 hours, which could be a significant posting incentive for TikTok creators seeking more exposure in the app.
But it’s an interesting switch in TikTok’s traditional focus.
As noted, vertical video is TikTok's core offering, and the popularity of that format in the app has prompted virtually every other social app to follow the same trend, and at least experiment with their own vertical, full-screen video display options. Which has led to significant growth in video engagement in other apps, so why TikTok would now be looking to move away from it does seem strange.
But then again, this is unlikely to be TikTok moving away from its core format, as such, but more of a push to expand its content types, which it’s also been trying to do via its Creativity Program, in encouraging creators to post longer videos, in different styles and formats, in order to broaden its content pool.
(Worth noting too that TikTok added a mention of “landscape format” to its “Best Content Formats” listing on the Creativity Program overview page late last year.)
TikTok’s also experimenting with 30-minute clips as another element, and maybe, in this context, landscape videos are just another ingredient in its broader growth mix, as it looks to appeal to more users, and keep things interesting.
It just seems odd that it would be looking to get users to turn their device. Because presumably, you’d also then have to turn your phone back around again as you scroll.
Or maybe, if TikTok can get enough landscape clips in the app, it could offer a dedicated stream of landscape only content, which could then lead to new trends and opportunities.
Maybe, too, TikTok is looking to prepare for the advent of viewing in headsets, where landscape content would be a better fit.
We’ve asked TikTok for more information on this experiment, and we’ll update this post if/when we hear back.