What You Need to Know About the TikTok 10 Minute Video Update

Since the boom of the viral app, TikTok, there have been several changes that affect users both creating and viewing the content in the app. Tiktok had other platforms such as YouTube and Instagram scrambling to keep up with the short-term content trend. What started as a platform for 15-second videos has since been updated to 3-minute videos as of July 2021. Now, Tiktok looks to be going back to the roots of its more established competitors, introducing the option for 10-minute uploads. Whether you are a creator or casual viewer, here’s what this update means for you: 


When looking at TikTok videos of the past, many creators used the 15 seconds to promote their dancing skills to trending music. As the amount of recording time increased, the type of content creators posted changed as well. One to three-minute videos became perfect for building a deeper connection with their audience. Many creators used this time to take viewers along with them throughout their day (vlogging) or tell stories about things going on in their life. With the new 10-minute update, creators and businesses can post unique content that wasn’t able to be posted in videos under three minutes long.


The introduction of these longer TikTok videos allows for creators to post different content such as in-depth cooking videos, longer vlogs, or even short films. Creators can put more detail into their videos and enhance their creativity. Potential consequences for creators may also come along with this update. The creation of these 10-minute TikToks means more time spent on filming and editing, resulting in a possibility for less content to be posted. 

TikTok was once known for short-form content being posted at a high volume. A creator could film and publish dozens of 15-second videos on their account in a single day. This may not be the case for the new 10-minute videos. For example, a creator can post one 10-minute video or 40 15-second videos, both equating to the same amount of run time within the app. This, of course, all depends on the type of creator.

Some creators, such as video game streamers, rely on long-form content and would struggle to create engaging content for their audience that is under three minutes long. On the other hand, businesses can see a great benefit from these 10-minute videos.


These longer videos allow for brands to have longer branded integrations within sponsored creator content, allowing for their product or service to be viewed by an estimated one billion worldwide users. Alternative to this, businesses can now post longer advertisements or general content. For example, movie production companies can release full-length movie trailers, or realtors can post full walkthroughs of homes for sale. This could be vital for businesses that may not have been able to publish content that was over three minutes long.


TikTok has never publicly shared if longer videos perform better than shorter ones. However, there is a trend for users to post 7 second videos to trending audios with a lot of text, causing users to watch the videos to completion. A higher completion rate goes on to higher ranking in the algorithm, helping these videos gain views on the For You Page. 

So if shorter videos are trending, why would you make a long-form video? It depends on your platform and content. Users are tired of “Go to part two” and “Head to my YouTube” to get the full story, so this is good news for accounts with lots to share and have a dropoff from one sequential video to the next. To identify if long videos are performing well for your account, go to your individual TikToks and from the “More Data” button compare Average Watch Time and Watched Full Video stats. If most of your videos see dropoff at 30 seconds, you should be aiming for posts around that time – but if a significant number of viewers are completing long-form TikToks, test 3, 5, 7, and 10-minute videos. 


Following the announcement of the TikTok 10-minute video update, users seem to have an overwhelmingly negative reaction. One tweet described the new feature to “go against the point of TikTok.” This user isn’t alone, with many other Twitter users showing their frustration with a once short-form only social network. This came a few months after Instagram shut down its IGTV feature, which allowed users to post longer content on a dedicated platform. This led for Instagram to move the longer content to the back burner, pushing its newly created feature, Reels, which was Instagram’s answer to TikTok. Another user said, “ What’s next? No seriously what’s next? I’m so afraid.”

This reaction to longer-form TikToks isn’t new. When TikTok previously introduced three-minute videos back in 2020, users had very similar things to say. A user stated, “I’m even annoyed Tiktok is allowing 3-minute videos. I don’t go on TT for long content.” In general, the introduction of three and ten-minute TikTok videos seems to be confusing for users. Many are begging the question, why not just go to YouTube?

The feedback wasn’t all negative, though. Some users are looking at this as a potentially smart move for TikTok. One user credited TikTok, saying that the platform is “more apt to innovation” from its “growing, evolving audience.” TikTok is the new kid on the block compared to its more established competitors. They popularized the trend of short-form, high-volume content. As competitors like Instagram and YouTube rolled out Reels and Shorts, TikTok seemed to be the platform that its competitors were learning (and adapting) from. Since TikTok began taking features from its theoretical big brothers, has it lost its specialness? 


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