As TikTok continues to add more users, and build out its business offerings, it's also looking to new use case options, and ways that it can maximize its fast-growing presence.
We've seen this with a new test of TikTok Stories, the addition of a dedicated Resumes option for jobseekers, reports of group messaging elements on the way, and more.
And now, TikTok's trying out another potential platform expansion, with some users seeing this new notification in the app.
As per this update, shared by social media expert Matt Navarra, TikTok is now allowing some users to upload videos of up to 5 minutes in length to the app, which could spark a major shift in platform usage.
TikTok has already extended its video length limit multiple times, first allowing users to upload 60 second clips (up from 15 seconds originally), then expanding that to 3 minutes in July this year. The longer time limits allows for more creative capacity, and will also enable TikTok to insert more ad slots, which would be expanded again by giving users access to 5 minute clips, a key potential boost for the company's growth ambitions.
It would also put TikTok on more direct footing with video rivals in YouTube and Facebook. TikTok is known as the home for short-form video, an element that it currently dominates, but by enabling longer form uploads, that would make it a more inclusive offering, which could eventually reduce the impetus for its creative talent to migrate to other apps, with TikTok able to offer comparative revenue, creative and reach potential.
It makes sense, then, for TikTok to at least experiment, and see what users think of longer uploads in the app.
Will people be welcoming of long-form video within the TikTok stream, or is the app's key appeal entirely tied into its short-sharp clips? People do already have the option to watch longer live-streams in the app, and maybe TikTok's seen such good response to its streams that expanding its upload options is a logical progression.
It's worth noting that users with large fan bases on Douyin, the Chinese version of the app, have been able to upload 15-minute long videos since 2019, so TikTok is not unfamiliar with long form content and the potential of such content in the app.
Maybe, then, TikTok already has a clear plan for the staged launch of longer form options - and it has experimented with even longer clips in TikTok, with some users able to upload 10 minute clips.
With the advantage of having Douyin as a test pool, which has over 600 million users in China, TikTok's product development always seems so fast, but if you want to know where it's headed, it's likely already rolled out most of its coming features in Douyin first, and it's likely already tested each for years before the fact.
That's a big advantage for the app - so while this may seem like a radical jump, and it would be a big change in process and usage, TikTok probably already knows the likely user response, and has weighed the benefits of such before taking this next step.
We've asked TikTok for info on which users are getting access longer clips, and we'll update this post if/when we hear back.