TikTok as a video platform has become synonymous with sharp, snappy videos, usually boasting cuts of 15 seconds or less. When it first hit the internet, TikTok distinguished itself from competitors by focusing solely on shorter, bite-sized content. Other brands tried to keep pace with this new, popular surge of short videos, with YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels both emerging in an attempt to keep pace with TikTok. As the platform developed, and as audience tastes and expectations evolved, TikTok has altered the duration of videos that its users can create.

What is a TikTok video?

In its most simple form, a TikTok video is just any video made for the social media platform TikTok. Although they are commonly associated with being 15 seconds or less, they can now be longer than this. Videos can swiftly garner huge international attention, racking up millions or even billions of views.

This can even happen with content producers whose profiles are not that popular or well known. Since infinite sets of videos are strung together in a “feed” by the app, up-and- coming creators can have their work displayed alongside more established names on the platform. This viral potential makes it an extremely popular platform for people looking to make clips that spread quickly and effectively.

TikTok videos can be based on anything, but popular content on the platform revolves around dance routines, jokes, fashion and clothing advice, cooking, and DIY tips.

How long are TikTok videos?

The platform first made its name via 15-second videos. What made it stand out was this restriction on length, which encouraged short, sharp, snappy videos, perfect for binge watching, bite-sized laughs, and a steady stream of addictive content.

Over time, the length of video allowed to customers has been extended. In July 2021, the max duration became 3 minutes. As of February 2022, the platform has experimented with allowing even longer videos, the max length becoming 10 minutes. TikTok has claimed that this allows users to create more immersive, thoughtful, and creative content. This new extension of video duration also places the platform in more direct competition with YouTube, currently the world frontrunner when it comes to mid-length video content.

How long should my TikTok video be?

Just because the platform now allows for longer videos doesn’t mean all your clips need to be 10 minutes. Think about what it is you’re trying to say and remember that online users prefer shorter, sharper content to rambling videos that overstay their welcome. Video editing software such as VideoStudio Pro can help you keep your clips lean and effective.

Trying to show off a skill or a cool new dance move? It’s likely that you’ll only need 15 to 30 seconds to give your audience a taste of your talent. Looking to make a deeper, more thoughtful point, such as a movie review, a short documentary, or a comment piece? Perhaps something in the five to 10 minute mark could be more suitable, allowing you to flesh out your story more fully. However, one rule always holds: the more concise and punchy you can make your content, the more likely it is to hold the viewer’s attention.

Always keep your audience in mind

After coming out the blocks at lightning pace with 15-second clips, TikTok now allows users to branch out into longer form video creation. This flexibility makes it an extremely popular platform for all manner of content creators. Whatever story you feel you want to share with the world, TikTok offers a way for you to do this.

However, don’t be tempted to get carried away with longer clips just because the platform allows you to! In the world of internet media, making sure your recipe, dance move, funny impression, or political commentary is compressed into a form that viewers find digestible, is crucial to making sure it’s shared and appreciated. When in doubt, the briefer the better.

VideoStudio Pro is professional editing software giving you all the creative power you need to keep your TikTok content sharp, focused, and streamlined. Get our free trial today.

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