CLIPPED: I watched the 100 best TikTok videos to find the optimum length of a clip


Camera frame viewfinder screen of video recorder digital display interface. Camera viewfinder. Recording. Vector Illustration.

I’ve blogged optimum lengths of video for the past few years and things have evolved over time.

TikTok is a video and music platform beloved of young people.

Frustratingly, there’s no data on what makes an optimum length for a video.

So I went out and did my own research.

I watched the top 100 TikTok videos in 2019 selected by the platform themselves and these are the results.

The optimum length of a TikTok video is 16 seconds.

What’s TikTok?

It’s a music-themed short form video app.   It’s come to the fore in that last 18-months with 800 million users in late 2019. Data is hard to come by and in particular UK data is almost impossible to get hold of. I’ve blogged an explainer here.

Optimum TikTok video length is 16 seconds

I watched and timed TikTok’s best 100 videos for 2019.

TikTok used to be a maximim of 15 seconds but has increased to 60 seconds.

The results?

The average length of the top 100 was just over 15.6 seconds – rounded up to 16 seconds.

While creators are able to make longer video the optimum length would appear to be shorter.

tiktok video

Creators using the full 60 seconds available were in a minority.

80 per cent of videos in the top 100 were 20 seconds or less and two per cent ran to the maximum length.

It’ll be interesting in 2019 to see how people use it.

What’s striking is that one size fits all video is over and won’t be back. In a fractured landscape a portrait video for younger people works on TikTok. A landscape film that’s three minutes works on YouTube.

The challenge for a communicator is to understand the landscape and then educate.

Picture credit: istock.

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