I am over 30. In social media years, I may as well be the oldest person alive. But that means I’ve been around for all of it. I had a MySpace account and thought Vine was really neato. I also remember when Twitter only gave you 140 characters per tweet. That’s the way it was and we liked it! Actually, 280 characters is totally fine too. Turned out that change wasn’t a big deal at all. A necessary perspective you kiddos should remember now that a big change is coming to TikTok. The company has announced it will let users upload videos three times longer than before.
TikTok is getting super-sized. Users will no longer have just 60 seconds to work with. They will have the option to upload videos that run three minutes. (News we first heard about at The Verge.) TikTok says the longer runtimes will pave “the way for even richer storytelling and entertainment” on the site. Providing members greater freedom to create that sweet, sweet content. From the announcement:
“Creative expression brings people together. It’s how we connect with our communities. It’s how we entertain, educate, inform, and inspire each other. This is also why we’ve focused on providing our community with a range of tools to help unleash their creativity – longer videos are now one more tool people can use to captivate the community with their creative expression.”
The new feature got a limited test run that began late last year. TikTok says all users will acquire the three-minute video option “over the coming weeks.” Members will receive a notification when the setting arrives in their creative toolbox.
Certain types of videos will certainly benefit from not having multiples parts. Like how-to tutorials with step-by-step instructions. But the old 60-second limit didn’t necessarily stifle creativity. If anything it promoted it. Being forced to work within a strict structure requires users to adapt and make sure they are making tight, crisp videos. A perfect one-minute video is often more enjoyable than a perfect three-minute video.
Just like Twitter doubling its character count didn’t ruin the site—all the bad people did that—this change is neither good nor bad on its own. How TikTokers use it will determine that. They should keep in mind one thing, though, some of us are very old and will nod off if a clip is too long.