Videos on Social Media: How Long Is Long Enough? [5 Reading Tips]

Videos Social Media
Source: Pexels/cottonbro

Marketers and influencers are constantly trying to attract the attention of users with fancy content. One thing has always been certain: content has to be short and snappy, i.e. snackable. This makes it all the more surprising that TikTok announced two weeks ago that the maximum duration of videos will be extended from one to three minutes.

Making Videos Longer: Useful for Content Creators or Users?

Extending the length of videos is not a phenomenon of the platform. Back in September, Instagram already adjusted the maximum duration of reels from 15 to 30 seconds in response to user feedback.

Nevertheless, Instagram is still far away from the three-minute videos that TikTok started testing in December. However, the introduction of this update for all amateur content creators in the coming weeks proves that it has been successfully accepted by users.

In order to publish longer videos, they previously had to post various parts separately and provide a link to the next part. Who would even watch part two, let alone part three?

For content creators, it seems to be a successful update that allows them to freely express their creativity and show their fans as much of themselves as possible. However, the question is: do viewers also want an extra two minutes of dance moves, recipe or make-up instructions?

Videos and the Attention Span on Social Media

Video content and its added value due to our society’s shortened attention span has been a hotly debated topic for several years now. Because of the massive flow of information as a result of digitalisation, content creators are dependent on conveying marketing messages concisely.

Of course, it depends on various circumstances which people engage with our content for how long and whether it actually sticks in their memory. Nevertheless, several studies have shown that the attention span on social networks rarely exceeds eight seconds.

This is one of the main reasons why visual content has established itself as the leading medium in recent years when it comes to sticking in users’ minds for as long as possible. However, the goal here is not to create posts that are as long as possible. Instead, they should be as interesting as possible for the target audience.

While the update may allow video creators more room for their ideas and help keep viewers from getting bored, those who upload longer videos to TikTok and Co. will have to be prepared for viewers to lose interest from the eighth second onwards.

That is why content creators should clearly think about the message they want to convey to their target audience when planning their posts. If the message can be conveyed in a few seconds, the video should not be unnecessarily long. If the topic offers more content, however, it can be seen as a challenge to keep the audience engaged for a whole three minutes.

Our 5 Reading Tips of the Week

More Tok on the Clock: Introducing Longer Videos on TikTok [TikTok]

TikTok Letting People Create Longer Videos, Moving Away from One of Its Defining Features [The Independent]

TikTok Is Reportedly Experimenting with Three-Minute Videos [CNET]

How Important Is Video on Social Media? [Stada Media]

How to Create Engaging Social Media Videos [FORTAY Media]

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