TikTok is rolling out longer videos to everyone

TikToks are about to get longer. The app is now rolling out the ability for everyone to publish videos up to three minutes in length, three times the existing one-minute limit. The extension is meant to give creators more flexibility while filming and limit the need for multi-part posts — though I suspect creators love hooking users that way and will keep breaking up stories.

Three-minute videos have been in testing at least since December, and it’s been easy to come across them when scrolling through videos from top TikTok creators, particularly in categories like cooking. Longer videos were limited to select users, though, but they’ll now be rolling out to everyone on TikTok “over the coming weeks.”

TikTok didn’t say how longer clips might affect its much-loved recommendation algorithm. But it’s worth considering the possible parallels to YouTube: as the platform grew, YouTube biased its algorithm toward viewer retention, which meant longer and longer videos — it’s why just about everything on YouTube is over 10 minutes long now. TikTok may not take the same approach, but if it turns out that longer videos = longer TikTok usage, we might see less of the app’s short, snappy, and strange viral clips.

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