TikTok's Embrace of Long Videos Reflects a Broader Trend

Why TikTok is pushing creators to make videos longer than one minute


Today’s Edition

  • TikTok's latest attempt at longer videos reflects a broader trend across social media platforms.

  • Threads is expected to arrive in Europe this month, but potentially with limitations.

  • Target doubles down on creators with a new creator marketplace.

Why TikTok is Pushing Creators to Make Videos Longer than One Minute

The Information

Users are spending half of their time on TikTok watching content that's longer than a minute, according to TikTok in a new report byThe Information. In October, TikTok hosted a dozen creators in its New York office, where it told creators that creating longer videos can help them make more money.

In addition to revealing that users are spending a significant amount of time on one-minute-plus videos, it was also mentioned that, over the past six months, creators who have posted videos longer than a minute experienced a 5x increase in the follower growth rate compared to those focusing solely on short-form videos.

TikTok's Ongoing Initiatives for Long Videos

TikTok continues to make concerted efforts to encourage creators to produce long-form videos, such as extending video upload lengths and offering incentives through the Creativity Beta Program.

While its latest direct outreach to creators emphasizes the value of longer videos for revenue and audience growth, convincing the broader TikTok creator community to change their behaviors may require additional measures.

Why Experimenting with Longer Videos Could Be Valuable for Creators and Brands

For creators seeking a breakthrough on TikTok, experimenting with longer videos for a period is worth considering, especially if they focus on content such as vlogs, tutorials, how-tos, recipes, news, unboxings, and more—anything that typically requires more in-depth storytelling.

It's also an opportunity for brands to explore partnerships with creators already producing content over a minute on TikTok, testing whether it affects the performance of their overall influencer marketing campaigns.

The Importance of Long-Form Videos for TikTok's Advertising Business

TikTok has not yet disclosed its specific motivation for prioritizing longer-form content on the platform, but it is likely related to the future of its advertising business.

Increasing its advertising revenue has been a major focus, evident in moves such as expanding Promote to grab dollars from creators and small businesses, and the recent launch of Out of Phone to bring TikTok ads to larger screens.

Getting longer videos on the platform can strengthen its advertising suite. Longer-form videos provide TikTok with the opportunity to develop more robust advertising formats, similar to what YouTube offers. Encouraging advertisers to run ads across short-form videos has been a challenge across all platforms, not just TikTok.

Traditional video ad formats like pre-rolls and mid-rolls aren't suitable for short-form videos due to their limited duration. However, videos that exceed a minute in length could accommodate these types of ads without significantly hindering the viewer experience.

Social Media Evolution: From Exclusive to Inclusive

TikTok's persistent expansion into longer-form videos and diverse content formats, including photos and text, reflects a broader trend in the evolution of social media platforms.

Platforms, once associated with specific content types (TikTok for short-form videos, Instagram for photos, and YouTube for long-form videos), are gradually moving away from their initial focuses. They are becoming less exclusive and more inclusive by embracing a variety of content. This shift is driven by the demands of all parties — creators, everyday users, and advertisers — who respectively want to share, consume, and advertise across different types of content in one place

What It Means For Creators In The Long Run

Looking ahead, creators will have even more flexibility in choosing where to share their content.

As features, tools, and formats become more standardized across platforms, key differentiators of where creators spend their time will be even more rooted around their earning potential—from the platforms through ad revenue and funds, the brands through sponsored content and partnerships, and their own fans through subscriptions, paywalls, and tipping.

TikTok Rolls Out New Features and Promotional Tools For Artists


TikTok has rolled out Artist Account, a new type of account for artists that provides them with a set of features and promotional tools. Here’s a breakdown of them:

  • Artist Tag: A tag for artists displayed under their account name.

  • New Release: Artists can highlight a new track for up to 14 days before and 30 days after its release. These tracks will be available on the Discovery Pages of the catalog sounds.

  • Music Tab: A tab where fans can access and discover music from artists.

  • By Artist: Artists can pin a post by creators and fans to the top of the Discovery Page.

  • Behind the Song: Artists can share the stories and behind-the-scenes details of their songs.

Why It Matters: TikTok delivers a suite specifically designed for artists. This suite enables them to take greater advantage of TikTok as a platform for their careers, enhancing discovery, providing deeper ways to engage and connect with new and existing fans, and highlighting relevant user-generated content while also sharing the inspiration behind their music.

In addition to supporting this userbase, an Artist Account is a way for TikTok to track and understand the number of artists actually on the platform. This is similar to LinkedIn’s Creator Mode, where users can self-identify as creators by turning it on.

Artist Account comes shortly after TikTok launched the Add to Music App feature, allowing viewers to add songs they discover to playlists across music streaming platforms. Overall, TikTok has been deepening its ties with the music industry with a long list of initiatives, putting it in direct competition and collaboration with music labels and streaming services at the same time.

Meta Prepares Launch of Threads in Europe This Month


According to the Wall Street Journal, Meta is preparing to launch Threads in Europe this month. However, the European iteration of Threads may be 'view only,' allowing users to see Threads posts without the ability to create their own posts.

In addition, Instagram head Adam Mosseri announced that keyword search has been expanded to all countries where Threads is available and is supported in all languages.

Why It Matters: Threads has been gaining momentum, with swaths of new users joining the platform in recent weeks as they seek an alternative to X, formerly known as Twitter. It had a strong debut during the summer but was limited in the European Union due to regulatory concerns, specifically the Digital Services Act.

With those concerns likely in a better place now, Threads' expansion to this region will help propel it forward, enabling tens of millions of new people to join the platform. When Threads does launch in these regions, anticipate it rising up the app download charts and a new wave of content and engagement from new creators and brands

Tumblr Will Discontinue Its Creator Monetization Feature, Post+


Tumblr is discontinuing Post+, a feature that enables creators to monetize through paid subscriptions for exclusive content, citing underperformance and unsustainable costs.

Starting December 1st, creators will lose access to Post+ for their blogs, while existing Post+ content will remain accessible until the year-end. In early 2024, new Post+ content creation will cease, and existing content will become private unless creators make posts public.

Why It Matters: In 2023, there has been a trend of social media platforms discontinuing features, usually when the feature experiences low usage or demands significant resources. This is the case for Tumblr; however, the platform faces more significant challenges, including annual losses of $30 million and difficulties in achieving user base and revenue goals.

As a result, Matt Mullenweg, CEO of Tumblr's parent company Automattic, is focusing on the 'core functionality' of Tumblr. Initiatives like a potential TikTok-like experience and an increased focus on creators will be deprioritized, making Tumblr a platform that won’t receive much attention from creators going forward.

Target Launches The Target Creator Program


Target has launched the Target Creator Program, a new creator marketplace. Creators can showcase products across social media in exchange for commissions (ranging from 5% to 10%) and revenue-based bonuses, as well as paid opportunities. Creators also have the ability to create their own Target Storefronts.

To apply, creators can visit the Target Creator portal. Upon acceptance, they gain access to view available campaigns, find products to promote, and create affiliate links. They can also monitor their performance, payments, and access a resource center that includes guides, checklists, content briefs, and tutorials.

Why It Matters: Retail giants investing in creators is nothing new. Amazon has been at it for years. Its success led to Walmart launching a creator marketplace of its own with Walmart Creator last year. Plus, Kohl’s partnered with creators on their own storefronts earlier this month.

Target has been actively involved in creator partnerships, enlisting creators to promote events such as Target Circle Week, collaborating with hundreds of creators. With the introduction of the Target Creator Program, the company is centralizing its creator marketing strategy and broadening its scope by providing more opportunities for creators through a robust pay-for-performance model.

Affiliate marketing as the primary form of compensation isn't something that all creators are on board with—despite how much marketers are pushing for it. But, based on Amazon and Walmart and the emergence of TikTok Shop, there are enough creators who are open to these types of campaigns, especially when the guidelines are loose, they have creative freedom, and the earning potential is unlimited.

What I’m Reading

  • Influencer or creator? Here’s how marketers can know who to hire (Digday)*

  • How the FTC’s influencer marketing warning may disrupt brand and creator deals (AdAge)*

  • 30 Under 30 North America 2023: Social Media (Forbes)

  • The rise of AI-powered stars: Big money and big risks (Hollywood Reporter)

  • TikTok creators are increasingly tapping into food-centric content — and brands are following (Digiday)

  • Social Commerce Report 2024 (The Influencer Marketing Factory)

*Includes quotes from me

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