Remember Quibi, the failed streaming video service that wanted all of us to watch whole episodes of TV shows in portrait mode on our phones? Well, it looks like TikTok wants to pick up where Quibi died and take on YouTube at the same time.
Social media expert Matt Navarra was testing out the latest version of the TikTok beta app and, low and behold, found that the social media company is testing the ability for creators to upload videos up to 30 minutes long. Currently, the maximum limit of a video length on the platform is 10 minutes.
Per Navarra’s screenshot, it looks like users will get hit with a pop-up when they go to upload a video informing them of the new maximum length. The pop-up will read, “Introducing 30 minutes video — You can now upload videos up to 30 minutes long!”
It’s not surprising to see TikTok make this move. The company has been slowly inching towards allowing longer videos on the platform for a while now. Once the 30-minute limit goes live, they’ll be in more competition with YouTube than ever before. Of course, YouTube allows videos of up to 12 hours in length, so TikTok still has a way to go to fully compete with YouTube here, but most videos are under 30 minutes, so it probably doesn’t even need to.
My only question here is if people will be okay watching a 30-minute-long video in portrait format. I am reminded of Quibi, who thought people wanted to watch television shows in portrait format. Quibi died spectacularly. Of course, TikTok isn’t Quibi, but I still can’t tell if a social media app that exploded over short-form video content can make a huge pivot to long-form content.
Granted, YouTube did it. So we’ll see if TikTok can do the same thing.