TikTok Is Optimizing Its App for iPads and Laptops

Tiktok on phone, ipad and laptop
Chinnapong/Shutterstock best_vector/Shutterstock Remix by Linzi Silverman

On Dec. 18, TikTok announced numerous updates designed to optimize TikTokers’ videos for larger screens like tablets and laptops. The updates include clearer video feeds, changing navigation bars, and support for landscape or portrait views.

These might seem like your usual run-of-the-mill updates, but this change could signal something more significant than that — TikTok’s desire to take the place of YouTube as the top streaming site on the web.

“YouTube went out of its way to become more like TikTok, and now TikTok is trying to become more like YouTube,” creator consultant Matt Koval told The Information.

Since its 2018 launch in the U.S., TikTok has dominated the creator economy by originating the rise of short-form, 15-second-long videos. Its success led to other copycat versions like Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts popping up on competing platforms. In 2021, the app surpassed 1 billion viewers — and its enormous growth shows no signs of slowing down. There’s only one thing with the potential to stop the app’s growth, the thing that made it popular in the first place: its short-form reputation.

TikTok told The Information that users are now spending half their time on TikTok watching content that is over a minute long. Similarly, over the past six months, TikTok themselves made some updates and launched an exclusive monetization program for longer-form content. Back in October, TikTok reportedly held a summit with some of its top creators to try to convince them to engage more with long-form videos on the app.

There’s also the fact that, quite simply, the longer the video, the more ads can be placed, which is reportedly key in helping TikTok rake in cash with its latest updates

When all is said and done, for TikTok, engaging viewers in more long-form content is probably the only way the app can continue to grow at its already astronomical rate. And according to Koval, the pivot to longer-form content is also paramount in ensuring creators build a loyal, long-lasting fanbase.

“The longer fans spend time with a creator, the more loyal they become, and the more monetizable that attention is,” Koval told The Information. “With short-form video, there’s just not enough time to build that loyalty. And there certainly is no time to add commercials to it.”

If you’re a creator, will you be joining TikTok on this journey? Or would you prefer things to stay the way they are? Let us know at tips@passionfru.it.

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