If you’re new to TikTok, you’re not alone. Even though the app already has hundreds of millions of users, more are flocking to the social network every day. If you’re late to the party and want to catch up, TechJunkie has a bunch of TikTok content to help you on your way. Today we are talking about videos. How long they can be, how to make one and what are the most successful types of video for the platform.
The app that used to be Music.ly is a Chinese owned company that rebranded it to TikTok. Known as Douyin in China, the app is for short videos just its predecessor but has grown into something much larger and much more engaging.
How long are TikTok videos?
As well as changing the name from Music.ly to TikTok, the company behind it also increased the maximum length of a video from a mere 6 seconds to 15 seconds. You can then string four videos together for a total of 60 seconds. It’s the ultimate in instant gratification with short bites of entertainment ideal for mobile consumption. This and the quality of content on offer is what makes TikTok so compelling.
If you need your videos to be longer, you will have to record them on your phone or computer outside of TikTok and upload them. There were apparently experiments in making videos longer but that didn’t go anywhere and the limit remains at 15 seconds with that 60 second total.
Recording videos on your computer has other advantages which I’ll cover in a minute.
How do you make a TikTok video?
The act of making a video is much, much simpler than coming up with something interesting to feature in it. One you have the app and an account, it takes mere seconds to begin creating content for it.
- Open the app and hit the ‘+’ sign at the bottom.
- Hit the red record button when you’re ready to begin recording your video.
- When complete, you can add music or effects as a layer to create your video.
- Select Post when you’re happy.
If you’re creating a lip sync video, you may want to add music first so you can sync. Your video is added as a layer and then you can change the timing slightly if you’re out before you post. There is an effects option that includes practical things under Beauty that can erase blemishes or dark areas. There are also filters, effects and other cool stuff if you want to add those.
If you add filters or effects, you will need to select Save once done and before posting otherwise you will lose all your hard work. Once you’re completely happy and have added any hashtags, hit Post and you’re live.
What types of video are popular on TikTok?
As TikTok took over from Music.ly, the predominant video type was lip sync. That still is the most popular type of video but is far from the only one now. Many of the top influencers offer beauty or modeling tips, comedy sketches, advice or just talk. Most of the top users will have more than a few music or lip sync videos in their collection too.
So the most popular video types are: Lip sync, fashion tips, hair tips, general advice, comedy, interviews and reviews. Of all of those, music and lip sync still reign supreme. If you want to gain followers fast, you could do a lot worse than start there.
To be successful, you have to consider the demographic. TikTok is aimed at teens and most of the users are in that age range. That means any video aimed at a teen audience should perform well.
Do you have to create videos using the TikTok app?
The TikTok app makes it easy to create and post videos but you don’t have to use it. If you have a studio or studio-quality equipment, you can use that and upload your video to TikTok if you prefer. This opens up huge scope for creating a video on your computer and uploading it to multiple platforms at once.
Most of the leading influencers will do this. Create a video, upload it to TikTok and YouTube, add images to Instagram and Snapchat and add a link to Facebook and Twitter. If you want to maximize your video’s reach, you need to do the same.
The mechanics of making videos in TikTok are simple. Coming up with a new and creative idea of what to feature in those videos is much more difficult. If you’re a new user, I suggest spending time just looking at what other people are doing and start there. You will likely want to go in your own direction eventually but using leading influencers as an example is a great way to start!