Is TikTok Becoming YouTube?
TikTok’s 15 seconds of fame are over—it’s ready for the full three minutes. Social media consultant Matt Navarra posted a screenshot on Twitter of a notification he received on his TikTok account announcing that he had early access to upload videos up to three minutes long. Until now, TikTok has only allowed for 15 and 60-second clips. The leap to three minutes is significant, and suggests something more than just an upgrade—TikTok may have its sights on YouTube.
😮 TikTok is rolling out ability to upload longer videos of up to 3 minutes long 🤳🏻 pic.twitter.com/9ifs7s7Uh3— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) December 2, 2020
YouTube may not be the flashiest social media app at the moment, but it has been a stable platform for creators over the past 10 years. In fact, when TikTok’s future was uncertain amidst talk of a ban, YouTube was the place prominent TikTok stars were planning on turning to.
“YouTube has always been an ideal platform for me,” creator Ellie Zeiler told us back in July. “Now that it's summer I finally have more time to dedicate to vlogging and editing.”
More recently, TikTok star Zahra, who goes by @MuslimThicc, told us that because she never prioritized YouTube, she fears for her ability to have a stable career on the internet.
“When TikTok was on the verge of being shut down … I don't use YouTube,” she said. “If TikTok is gone, like … what do I have?”
However, with the Trump administration on its way out (and seemingly ghosting TikTok’s negotiations with Oracle), it seems all the drama was for nothing, and the app is here to stay. With that in mind, it looks like TikTok may be attempting to court back some of those people, like creator Halle Burns, who have branched out into longer-form content on YouTube.
While three minutes won’t allow for the full scope of many YouTube videos, it does open up doors for vlogs, tutorials, and more in-depth sketches. At the same time, telling longer stories over a series of short videos is a frequent and successful engagement tactic for creators looking to build up loyal audiences. And unlike, say, Instagram Reels and Twitter Fleets, TikTok has yet to miss when it comes to rolling out new features. Something tells me they won’t start now.