TikTok is reportedly telling creators it will boost their views if they post horizontal (yes, horizontal) videos longer than one minute.
Social media consultant and frequent detector of upcoming platform updates Matt Navarra posted screenshots showing a user being told by TikTok to “post videos over 1 minute in landscape to get increased views.”
“Qualified videos will receive boosted views within 72 hours of posting,” the message says. It does not specify how these views will be achieved, but does clarify that any views brought in by the boost “are not eligible to get rewards from Creativity Program Beta.”
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Its Creativity Program, for those who aren’t familiar, is the creator monetization plan intended to replace the Creator Fund it introduced in 2020. The program only rewards creators for videos longer than 60 seconds.
Basically, it’ll boost creators’ videos to a wider audience, but won’t pay them for the inflated view counts.
And that’s important to know, because this message to creators also clarifies that they “don’t need to apply [for the boost] and can opt out at any time.” Which appears to mean that TikTok is auto-boosting horizontal videos over one minute, and that creators who don’t pay attention to this message might see bigger view counts and expect to be compensated for them—but won’t be.
This effort to push horizontal videos comes just days after news that TikTok is now testing 30-minute videos. Its max video length has crept up over time. Originally, it only allowed creators to film in 15-second bites, and sew up to four of those bites together to create a 60-second video. That format is the one that put short-form content back on the map, and inspired TikTok copycats from YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and more.
But in 2021, after transforming the landscape of online video, TikTok started testing three-minute videos. A year later, it upped the max runtime to 10 minutes. Then, last October, Navarra found a test feature that let some creators raise their max runtimes to 15 minutes.
With a 30-minute runtime potentially on the books (it’s not a sure thing yet; TikTok hasn’t confirmed reports of the 30-minute test, and not all test features roll out to users) and this concerted effort to get viewers watching longer horizontal videos, TikTok seems to be shaping up to take on YouTube again, this time on its own turf.