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YouTube Shorts vs TikTok: the battle for long-form content

Posted by Abby Oldroyd in Comment

6 months ago

In February, TikTok announced users will soon be able to upload videos up to ten minutes long. This update comes less than a year after the maximum video length was increased from 60 seconds to three minutes in 2021.

While the app has been praised for its “snackable” content, TikTok released a statement explaining how they plan to utilise longer video content: “We’re always thinking about new ways to bring value to our community and enrich the TikTok experience. We hope to unleash even more creative possibilities for creators around the world.”

This recent update has been criticised as counterintuitive. Journalist Sarah Manavis questioned why a successful short-form platform would move away from the very structure that made it a global phenomenon for The New Statesman. Manavis raises a good point, why would users looking for 20-second clips want content thirty times that length? However, it seems there may be logic to the madness.

In an interview with The Verge, social media analyst Matt Navarra argued that by offering both long and short-form content, the app can satisfy new audiences migrating from YouTube and keep existing audiences happy.

YouTube appears to be doing the opposite, encouraging snappier content with the launch of Shorts, a platform hosting video content with a length limit of 60 seconds. While it seems there has been an exodus of YouTubers in recent years, with some of the most influential vloggers taking a step back (think the Brit crowd – Tanya Burr, Marcus ButlerCaspar Lee and Zoe Sugg) Shorts might restore YouTube to its pedestal as king of long-form.

Creators can use Shorts to gain long-from subscribers and encourage their community to interact with different types of content. Earthweb journalist, Jason Wise wrote, “if someone subscribes to a creator’s Shorts, they are automatically subscribed to their long-form content.”

While this might seem obvious, it’s an opportunity for YouTubers to leverage Shorts and encourage subscribers back to their page, without the hassle of constantly producing and editing long-from content. The key to success might well be in finding the balance between both short and long content in order to attract a broader audience.

By Abby Oldroyd, staff writer at CORQ. Picture credit: Unsplash