By Google‘s own admission, TikTok (and other platforms like Instagram and Snapchat) are sapping traffic from major parts of its business like Search and Google Maps.
And TikTok seems keen on continuing to do that.
Less than a month ago, it started testing a new “Nearby” feed that displays content generated in users’ local areas.
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Now, it’s upping the video description character limit from just 300 to a whopping 2,200.
If you’re wondering how the “Nearby” feed and this new limit–which may seem like pretty disparate parts of TikTok’s platform–link up, both updates are aimed at making content across TikTok more easily searchable for users.
The character limit will allow videomakers to include much, much longer descriptions—and therefore potentially many, many more SEO terms. Adding more characters means creators can go from saying they went to a cool bakery in San Francisco to specifically naming the bakery, dishes they had, and maybe even telling a little story about their experiences.
All that same information might be included verbally or via captions in their video, but audio/video contents aren’t visible to search engines. If users duplicate or add info in their video description, though…Suddenly “search engine TikTok” might become a real thing.
And it’s worth noting that TikTok’s telling users if they add longer and “more searchable” descriptions to their videos, their content is more likely to show up on people’s For You pages.
A screenshot posted by social media consultant Matt Navarra shows TikTok telling users the increased character limit “allows you to express more details about your creations, describing what your videos show, giving you the opportunity to get closer to your audience, generating more engagement while becoming more searchable and better recommended by TikTok to viewers.”
Woah…! TikTok has increased video description character limit to 2,200 characters!
This is huge for creators and massive in terms of TikTok’s plans for becoming a search engine pic.twitter.com/kGhnL97uUM
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) September 23, 2022