ResearchMar 20 2024
What is an ideal TikTok video length?
Discover the optimal TikTok video length with Exolyt's analysis and explore the nuances of engagement strategies, content duration, and platform dynamics.
Tigran | Madhuparna
Data Scientist | Growth Marketer

With TikTok's meteoric growth, understanding the science behind crafting captivating content has become more critical than ever. 

As creators and marketers navigate this dynamic landscape and strive to captivate audiences, one burning question prevails: What constitutes an ideal TikTok video length? Understanding its nuances can make a lot of difference.

Exolyt, the comprehensive TikTok analytics tool's recent analysis, sheds light on some intriguing aspects of content durations on TikTok video length and their impact on video performance. The analysis was performed on over 10,000 videos, and the findings reveal a nuanced picture of the platform's content strategy and audience engagement. 

Join us as we explore the latest stats and uncover new insights that will elevate your TikTok content to new heights of engagement and success. 

Key Highlights

  1. More than 86% of videos are below one minute.
  2. Account size has no effect on the duration of posted content
  3. The median video duration has risen to 22.68 secs
  4. Verified accounts tend to post longer content
  5. Promoted content tends to be longer than other videos
  6. Video duration has no statistically significant effect on engagement

Understanding Trends: A Hypothesis

To understand the predominant trends in video length, we have analyzed videos shared by individual creators and brands to shed light on prevailing preferences and practices.

Our study shows that the videos are slowly getting longer in general and across all account sizes. 

  • This could imply a shift in user preferences towards more in-depth and immersive content and a growing appetite for longer-form storytelling, 
  • It also signifies a maturation of content creation strategies as creators explore new formats to engage and retain audiences amidst an increasingly competitive landscape.
  • Additionally, we can assume that commercialization of the platform is driving the video lengths up (most likely to make room for ad integrations and in-video promotions) - This is confirmed when we notice that promoted and verified content is almost twice as long as the regular content. 
  • Moreover, the rise in video length could also be attributed to the platform's evolving algorithm and features, which may incentivize longer videos for enhanced visibility and engagement.

However, the TikTok algorithm still prioritizes quality content over the length of the content because there is no correlation between video lengths and engagement metrics.

As per Exolyt’s Growth Trends Report 2021 - 2024 - The median number of videos per verified account is consistently dropping. This is also a clear indicator that brands are prioritizing quality over quantity.

Uncovering Methodology and Findings

Research Methodology

The study is based on a stratified sample of videos extracted from Exolyt’s comprehensive TikTok analytics tool database. Stratification was performed by extracting a representative sample of 10,000 videos from each month between January 1, 2023, and February 1, 2024. Representativeness of the sample is ensured in terms of account follower numbers, video views, and engagement metrics.

Metrics used in the study take into account the highly skewed variable distributions that are typical for social media datasets.

(When correlation is mentioned, it refers to Spearman's rank correlation).

The Dominance of Short-Form Content

TikTok Video Duration Frequency

TikTok is still primarily a short-form content platform that caters to the modern consumer's preference for bite-sized, easily digestible content. It cultivates a culture of rapid consumption and scrolling by limiting videos to concise durations, typically ranging from 15 to 60 seconds.

This format aligns with users' limited time and attention and encourages creators to distill their messages into succinct, attention-grabbing snippets. So, a significant portion of TikTok's allure can be attributed to its concise and engaging video format, which solidified its status as the ultimate destination for quick, entertaining content consumption.

Our analysis underscores this, revealing that more than 85.8% of videos on the platform are under one minute in length. 

This preference for brevity aligns with the platform's original design ethos, catering to the modern user's preference for quick, digestible content. The short duration of these videos not only facilitates higher content consumption rates but encourages users to explore a broader range of content within a single browsing session.

Audience Size and Content Duration

TikTok Video Duration by Different Account Sizes

The correlation between audience size and content duration on TikTok underscores the platform's unique dynamics. While shorter videos may attract initial views from a broader audience, longer-form content can foster deeper engagement and connection with niche communities or dedicated followers. 

Thus, the relationship between audience size and content duration is nuanced, with creators often experimenting with different lengths to strike a balance between reach and depth of engagement, ultimately shaping their content strategies to best resonate with their target audience. 

Our analysis of the relationship between audience size and video duration supports this hypothesis. 

Contrary to expectations, there was no observable effect of account size on the duration of posted content. 

This finding is particularly intriguing, as it suggests that content creators across the spectrum, regardless of their follower count, are not necessarily using video length to differentiate themselves or cater to their audience's preferences. 

It reflects a level of uniformity in content strategy across the platform, with creators focusing perhaps more on content quality and creativity rather than length. Confirming that audience size is influenced by various factors beyond video duration alone.

Here’s a glimpse of video duration distribution per industry on TikTok, which shows no significant differences between niche industry content categories and video length.

TikTok Video Duration Distribution per Industry

Change is the only constant

TikTok Median Video Duration Overtime (2023)

One notable shift that has emerged throughout 2023 is the gradual increase in the length of TikTok videos. From a median video duration of 15.07 seconds, it has surged to nearly 22.68 seconds. 

This upward trend prompts intriguing questions about the platform's evolution. Does this signify a transformation in user preferences, favoring longer, more immersive content? Or does it reflect the platform's increasing commercialization, with creators extending videos to accommodate organic ads and promotional content? This shift underscores the dynamic nature of TikTok and the ongoing adaptation of creators and users alike in response to emerging trends and opportunities.

TikTok Median Video Duration Timeline Breakdown Overtime (2023)

This graph showcases each account size group's median video duration growth breakdown. We can see that the median video duration has been rising regardless of the account audience size.

This shift suggests a platform-wide evolution towards longer-form content, challenging the notion that shorter videos are always preferred. Creators across all audience sizes are adapting their content strategies, exploring the potential of extended videos to captivate and engage viewers.

Video Accounts: Leaning Towards Longer Videos

An intriguing trend surfaced in our data, revealing a distinction between verified and non-verified accounts on TikTok. Verified accounts, often associated with established figures or brands, showcase a statistically significant preference for longer content than their non-verified counterparts. 

While non-verified accounts typically post videos with a median duration of 16.67 seconds, verified accounts present content with a median length of 32.2 seconds. 

This discrepancy suggests that verified users may leverage their established audiences' receptiveness to longer-form content, indicating a strategic approach to content creation that aligns with audience expectations and engagement preferences. This observation further solidifies the previous finding regarding the platform's shift towards longer video durations.

Promoted Content: Leaning Towards Longer Videos

Furthermore, our analysis reveals a notable distinction between promoted and non-promoted content on TikTok. Promoted content, backed by marketing budgets to amplify its reach, consistently exhibits a statistically significant longer duration than non-promoted videos. 

While non-promoted content typically maintains a median duration of 16.8 seconds, promoted content extends nearly twice as long at 30.01 seconds. 

This trend indicates a strategic approach by advertisers and brands, aiming to optimize the effectiveness of their investments by delivering more immersive messaging or storytelling within their videos.

Video Duration and Performance: An Unexpected Twist

Correlation Matrix

Contrary to conventional assumptions, our research unveils a surprising revelation: the duration of TikTok videos does not significantly influence engagement metrics such as likes, shares, and comments. 

This observation was consistent across various content lengths, suggesting that engagement on TikTok is more intricately tied to the quality of content, its relevance to the audience, and how well it leverages TikTok's algorithm rather than merely its length. 

This insight is particularly valuable for content creators, indicating that crafting engaging and creative content should be prioritized over video length concerns. It underscores the notion that longer videos can rival the performance of shorter ones, provided the content captivates the audience's attention and resonates with their interests.


Our comprehensive examination of TikTok video durations and their effects on performance unravels a complex interplay of factors influencing content strategy and audience engagement.

It can be rightfully concluded that the optimal TikTok video length is a delicate balance between brevity and substance. 

While shorter videos may attract initial views, sustained engagement hinges on the quality and relevance of the content. So, brands and creators must craft content that strikes the perfect chord, delivering value and entertainment within a concise timeframe. 

Whether it’s showcasing a quick tutorial, sharing a humorous skit, or sparking a viral dance challenge, the key lies in optimizing engagement with thoughtful content length.

Engaging in TikTok Social Listening is a relevant approach to this practice, as it empowers you with knowledge about your audience, industry, and competitors to make better data-driven decisions on content strategies.

Additionally, Exolyt, our comprehensive TikTok analytics tool's research insights, shed light on the strategic considerations surrounding video duration, particularly among verified and promoted content creators, suggesting nuanced approaches to optimize audience engagement.

As TikTok continues to evolve, so will video length and content strategy dynamics. Understanding these will be crucial for marketers, content creators, and strategists aiming to maximize their impact on the platform. 

This research data and findings are analyzed and compiled by Data Scientists at Exolyt.

Tigran | Madhuparna
Data Scientist | Growth Marketer
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