Douyin dives into long-form content of over 30 minutes

On September 22, China’s short video platform Douyin announced that it will open the app to content of 30 minutes or more with support of 4k videos.

From now on, both medium and long videos no longer need to undergo a complicated submission process for publication approval. Instead, users will be able to post directly onto the platform.

Apart from the expansion to longer videos, Douyin has also announced new rules regarding its content. Currently, they aim to allocate 40% of video traffic towards videos covering real life experiences and niche interests.

Some believe that this overnight expansion to longer video content is too rushed. Douyin first took the nation by storm for its conveniently quick-to-watch videos, especially for those who did not have time to sit down to watch traditional TV programs. By adding content of 30 minutes or more, some users worry it may take away from the original short content that helped Douyin blow up in the first place. 

However, there are several reasons as to why Douyin would aim to dive into longer-form videos. Firstly, long videos allow for more in-depth and high-value content currently not seen in short videos. Secondly, with the advancement of 5G and cloud technology, the platform’s servers are physically capable of handling a shift to higher resolution and content capacity.

Another potential reason for the expansion is Douyin’s constant pursuit of new marketing opportunities. So far, the tech company has ventured into a variety of businesses, including e-commerce which, in 2021, generated 2.8 billion RMB ($420 million). In August 2022, the tech giant even sank its teeth into food delivery services in a partnership with Eleme.

Looking ahead, therefore, Douyin aims to provide creators with support so that they can create more in-depth content. In the meantime, as the proportion of long to short video content increases on Douyin, users accustomed to creating and consuming short video content will have to adapt to this new change.

All in all, opening the door to longer videos not only helps Douyin diversify its content ecosystem, but it also brings the short video platform one step closer to its goal becoming a one-stop shop powerhouse.


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