Why Do We Need 10-Minute TikTok Videos?


In a move that's left many scratching their heads, TikTok is introducing 10-minute videos, and this app update feels very much like that little boy in 2015 getting an avocado for Christmas. Although this TikTok update still appears to be rolling out and thus unavailable to some users, Twitter user @MattNavarra shared on Feb. 28 a screenshot of a TikTok notification signaling his ability to upload videos up to 10 minutes long "from your device." This is a significant jump from the three-minute video ceiling TikTok introduced in July 2021, alongside the app's 60-second and 15-second options. The move begs two major questions: Is TikTok coming for YouTube's social media reign? And why do we need 10-minute videos on TikTok?

While many TikTok users were pleased when the app introduced three-minute videos, the overarching response to TikTok's 10-minute video rollout has been . . . a mixed bag, to say the least. I know, I know. Why are 10-minute TikTok videos so polarizing, especially when many begged for an option longer than a minute in the first place? The overwhelming sentiment is, there are already other apps for that. "Just make a youtube channel. why do we need 10 minute videos on tiktok?" writes one Twitter user, with another tweeting, "TikTok is now allowing 10 minute videos??? sorry if ur tiktok is more than 3 minutes long i am scrolling." Essentially, many TikTok users are recognizing that 10-minute videos are somewhat antithetical to TikTok's successful reputation as a short-form video app — the very concept that helped it so quickly level with other social media platforms like Instagram that spent far longer building their audiences.

Then, there's the fact that my three tired brain cells simply cannot handle 10 whole minutes of whatever the heck ends up on my TikTok For You Page. More often than not, TikTok users flock to the app for mindless entertainment, minimal effort, and immediate gratification — the kind that comes with a full story packed into 15 seconds or needing only to lip sync to a funny audio to go viral — and that goes for casual viewers (like me) and creators alike. One of the major draws of the app is the quickness of it all. Viewers can take in a wealth of content over the course of mere minutes, just as creators can film, edit, and post content in the same time frame. For creators, in particular, long-form videos also tend to require more planning and time commitments than some TikTok creators may be willing to take on, especially given how YouTube's partner program (which allows creators to monetize their videos) currently financially benefits creators much more significantly than TikTok's similar creator fund.

Of course, tons of people think social media app updates are dumb before conveniently forgetting they felt that way once the dust has settled. Some Snapchat users roasted Instagram Stories when the feature first launched, convinced the Snapchat Stories dupe wouldn't stick. Yet by 2018, Instagram Stories were reportedly twice as popular as Snapchat Stories. Only time will tell how the response to 10-minute TikToks evolves, but for now, at least we can rest knowing Elliot from "Euphoria" can comfortably upload his entire season two finale concerto in one sitting.