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TikTok goes full YouTube

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Vertical video platform TikTok wants users to turn their phones around and start shooting horizontal videos — long ones, too.

TikTok appears to be incentivizing creators to start posting horizontal videos that are more than a minute long, according to a prompt seen by creators @candicedchap and @kenlyealtumbiz. The platform says it will “boost” these videos within 72 hours of posting. Creators who’ve been on TikTok for more than three months will be eligible for the viewership boost, as long as the videos are not ads or from political parties.

The Verge reached out to TikTok for additional information but didn’t immediately hear back.

Pushing for horizontal videos would be a big change

Most people who watch TikToks do so on their phones, which lends perfectly well to the vertical video format. Turning a TikTok on its side relies on getting viewers to do the same.

The YouTube-ization of TikTok has been happening for a while. The platform is testing 30-minute long videos, and that comes just a few months after it began expanding video lengths up to 15 minutes. Most YouTube videos tend to be 10 minutes or longer (think of “a week in the life” vlogs) for monetization reasons rather than the bite-sized-length content for which TikTok is famous.

This isn’t the first time TikTok has encouraged its most valuable asset, its creators, to post more YouTube-like content on the platform. Its new paywall program, Series, lets users make collections of videos, up to 20 minutes long, for paying subscribers. Creators can set their prices from $1 all the way to $190.

With horizontal videos — and an increasing preference for longer content — creators might be tempted to cannibalize their YouTube material instead. While YouTube, or at least YouTube Shorts, still pays creators more, rehashing the same content across multiple platforms already happens anyway. YouTube, on the other hand, introduced more features so it will feel more like TikTok.



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