Brevity is the soul of wit — and the heart of TikTok — but the company wants to see if giving people the ability to record longer videos is something its creators want to explore.
The company is reportedly rolling out the ability to record videos up to three minutes in length, according to social media consultant Matt Navarra. Navarra tweeted a screenshot of the update, which notes the feature is still in early access stages. The Verge has reached out to TikTok for more information.
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
Currently, TikTok allows all creators to upload videos up to a minute in length. It’s proven to be a successful length — longer than a Vine, shorter than most YouTube videos. The constraint of finding ways to make something funny within 60 short, sweet seconds is part of what makes TikTok work. Not having to focus more than a minute of attention on one video and being able to easily flip to the next right after is a welcome feature in a world dominated by longer content.
Three-minute videos on TikTok feel like a miniature replica of YouTube, back when YouTube videos were shorter than 10 minutes. Will this fill the space left by Quibi’s demise? Three minutes is a lot of time. It could allow for full movie trailers or makeup tutorials — things that are found more often than not on YouTube.
Look, it might not be the worst thing — people were upset when Twitter doubled the length of a tweet from 140 to 280 characters, but that’s mostly worked out fine. Still, trepidation is warranted. Short videos defined TikTok — I’m not sure I want to sit through someone’s three-minute recap of Riverdale just because they have the ability to do so.