As the digital era continues to evolve, content consumption patterns shift dramatically.
The latest news? TikTok, the global social media sensation, is testing the waters with 15-minute videos.
This significant deviation from their traditionally shorter video durations prompts us to ask: is the era of short-form content coming to an end?
The Rise and Fall of Bite-Sized Content
Only a few years back, platforms like Vine carved a niche for themselves with six-second video loops, proving that content could be both concise and impactful.
Sergii Denysenko, the CEO of a global advertising platform, weighed in on the importance of short-form content: "How can publishers keep their audiences hooked when the next distraction is just around the corner?"
Yet, the digital graveyard tells a different story with Vine having folded in 2017, leading many to reminisce about its fast comedy and iconic videos.
The narrative surrounding short video content has been quite compelling, with many attributing the success of platforms like Vine to the ever-shortening attention spans of the digital age.
But does TikTok's experiment with longer videos challenge this widely-held belief?
Research from Chartbeat reveals an intriguing pattern – the sweet spot for engaged readers lies around the 2,000-word mark. While this may specifically pertain to written content, it's worth pondering whether similar engagement levels might apply to longer video content.
Kokil Jaidka, an assistant professor at the National University of Singapore, recognized the power of short video in an era dominated by text and photos. However, with the current shift toward long-form content, platforms may be recognizing the potential for deeper narratives and richer storytelling – again.
TikTok video length:— Morning Brew ☕️ (@MorningBrew) October 24, 2023
• 2020 - 1 minute
• 2021 - 3 minutes
• 2022 - 10 minutes
• 2023 - 15 minutes
Moral of the story—TikTok wants to be YouTube, and YouTube wants to be TikTok pic.twitter.com/DzsOF2TD2f
Changes for Advertisers and Publishers
The exploration of longer video formats on TikTok could have significant ramifications for the advertising world. "Mastering long-form content and keeping readers captivated is a matter of strategy," Denysenko mentions.
Advertisers might need to rethink strategies and placements to make the most of extended viewer engagement. The introduction of attention-based algorithms might be more critical than ever, using machine learning to pinpoint high-engagement sections.
While the internet still mourns the loss of Vine and celebrates its iconic 6-second loops, TikTok's bold move might be indicating a new trend. As platforms adapt and evolve, the debate between short-form vs. long-form content will likely continue.
The real question is, are users and advertisers ready for this potential shift?
The 15-minute video move by TikTok is undoubtedly a bold one. But as with all evolutions in the digital landscape, only time will tell whether it's a step forward or a nostalgic nod to the past.
Edited by Nikola Djuric