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TikTok Video Length Guide: How Long Should Your TikTok Videos Be?

How long can a TikTok be? TikTok video length guide

Social Media

24 May 2024 • 5 min read •

Ellie Innis

When TikTok was released, all videos were capped at 15 seconds. The main idea behind the short videos was to capture users’ attention. You could flick through dozens of videos in one minute with a seemingly endless feed. 

Although TikTok’s attention-grabbing content and endless scrollability haven’t changed, its video lengths have. The app has been testing long-form content in a bid to compete against big-time video platform like YouTube. But these long-form max video lengths aren't available to all users.

If you do a simple search for “how long can a TikTok be,” you’ll find a variety of answers, from 30-seconds long to up to 30-minutes long. Even TikTok’s own website doesn’t seem to have the most up-to-date guidelines. 

In this article, we won't just answer how long a TikTok can be. We'll also answer the million-dollar question: how long should TikTok videos be?

How long can a TikTok be?

IMG_3217When you're filming content in TikTok, you'll notice there are time intervals above the record button. These are set video length durations, and this dictates you how long your TikTok video can be. Users can choose from these TikTok video lengths:

  • 15 seconds
  • 60 seconds
  • 10 minutes
  • 30 minutes

Not all users have access to 15-minute and 30-minute video lengths right now. If you don't see those numbers above your record button, it just means you can't record a 15 or 30-minute video in the app. You can still upload footage to TikTok that you recorded elsewhere. A social media posting tool makes that especially easy.

There is no minimum video length limit. You can post a video that is only 1-second long, but it’s recommended that your video be over 3 seconds so it’s not shadowbanned for being “low quality content." TikTok's community guidelines enforce against extremely short videos, making them ineligible for recommendation in the For You Page (FYP).

Long story short, in 2024 TikTok videos can be between 3 seconds to 30 minutes long


If your account has over 1,000 followers, you may have access to the TikTok LIVE feature. It allows you to broadcast a live feed from your app. You can interact with followers, collaborate with creators, and participate in other fun activities, like multi-guest hosting or virtual gifting.

TikTok LIVE streams have no time limits, providing an ideal way to engage with your followers. That said, TikTok recommends keeping your streams to around 30 minutes. Your entire video stream sessions remain available for up to 90 days following the stream.

TikTok Stories

TikTok stories allow you to post videos or images up to 15 seconds long. Stories are temporary, lasting only 24 hours.

How long should a TikTok be?

TikTok didn’t become one of the most popular social media apps by accident. Since launching in 2016, it has been under constant development. The app’s creator, ByteDance, frequently tweaks the algorithm and adds and changes features such as filters, new post types, and minimum and maximum video length. TikTok’s product teams constantly run tests to determine the popularity of new features and whether they should be adopted at scale.

That’s why settling on an ideal TikTok video length isn’t straightforward. The algorithm looks for signals that indicate users’ preferences. For instance, if more users spend time on 15-second videos versus 30-second videos, the algorithm might respond by recommending more 15-second videos. These changes in user behavior can be big or small, but they are always fast-moving. Creators must be willing to adapt to the ever-changing behavioral patterns of their followers and the app’s larger user base.

To make matters even trickier, the company keeps quiet about optimal video lengths. However, TikTok is on record recommending 21 to 34-second videos. Videos that fall within this timeframe tend to get the most views and highest engagement rates.

Does this mean all your TikTok videos should be 21 to 34 seconds long? Not quite.

The reality is that the ideal length of a TikTok video can change from one month to the next. It may also vary depending on your industry, business, and the type of content you post.

How to find the ideal length for your TikToks

Are 30-second daily TikToks the way to go for your business? Or does your message require more or less time to get across? 

It depends! Let’s look at the main considerations for finding your ideal TikTok video length.

TikTok users’ attention spans

TikTok’s algorithm undeniably favors bite-sized video clips because the app's users gravitate to short-form video.

According to a WIRED report, half of TikTok’s users claimed videos over one minute long were “stressful.” A high percentage of users watch videos at double speed, demonstrating an urgency to get through content quickly.

This suggests that editing your videos into 10, 15, or 20-second clips could be the best way to reach the most TikTok users. Short attention spans apply to content consumption across the board, so your TikTok videos can be repurposed for all social media platforms.

Your audience

If you want to get noticed on TikTok, you must understand your target audience. Depending on your viewers’ preferences, the ideal length of your videos may differ. 

For example, if your account reviews gadgets or tech products, you might not squeeze full reviews into 30-second clips. In this case, your audience is probably open to longer-form content. 

The size of your audience also influences the length of videos your audience will tolerate. According to Statista, bigger accounts upload longer videos (on average).

Of course, it’s not always possible to find quality data on your TikTok audience and their habits.

In this case, you can check out competitor’s channels and take note of what they’re doing right. On TikTok, you can easily see how many views each video has. This is a scrappy analytics method — you won’t be able to prove direct causation between video length and audience engagement. But you can uncover some pretty strong correlations if you review enough videos.

Explore popular hashtags and analyze the content that generates the most views. We recommend digging further by looking at the type of users who are commenting on, liking, and following this content. This will give you a good idea of whether your content is hitting the mark.


You can learn a lot about good content by analyzing your competitors and the marketplace. That said, crunching the numbers on the audience that views and engages with your content can reveal even more. TikTok now has more than a billion monthly users, with around 30% of them being over 35. The app gives businesses access to a lucrative online audience.

TikTok analytics help add certainty to your decision-making. When you use data, there are no bad posts. You can learn from every piece of content. If you want to make data-backed improvements to your social strategy, a social media management tool will bring all the numbers right to your fingertips.

With a management platform like Loomly, you can: 

  • Monitor post performance in real-time
  • Obtain quality data on your account and posts, helping you track account growth, analyze post statistics, and make more informed decisions in the future
  • Download data and schedule automatic reports
  • Manage multiple campaigns with an intuitive dashboard and campaign labels

Getting in tune with your analytics is one of the best ways to figure out details about your audience and your content. The big-picture view that a management platform gives you lets you see what's happening accross platforms. This means you can apply learnings from, say, Reels, to your TikTok strategy — without having to switch between apps or open up a bunch of spreadsheets.

Posting times

The times you post may also affect how long your TikToks should be. For example, if your audience is 24 to 35-year-old professionals, they may not have time to watch long videos during work hours.

Depending on the type of content you produce, the ideal length of the video may vary

Loomly TikTok

There’s no point assuming, though. Study the analytics, run some test posts, and determine whether the timing of your posts matters for different-length videos. With a social media scheduling tool, you can plan posts ahead of time, giving you a chance to test what slots work best for your content.

Lastly, the type of content you produce will dictate the length of the videos. Humorous and entertaining content is huge on TikTok. These types of videos are typically short and sweet, often lasting just a few seconds.

TikTok is perhaps best known for its viral trends, such as dances or voiceovers. Many businesses keep a close eye on trending content and attempt to recreate it to drive up engagement. Again, trends tend to be quick-fire, bite-sized videos.

On the other hand, educational videos, how-to guides, or instructional may run significantly longer. This type of content needs extra length to add value to the audience.

Take into account the type of video you’re producing and choose the length accordingly.

Conclusion: How long should TikToks be?

By now, you’ll have a good idea of how different video lengths may benefit your business. Nothing beats running your own tests and analyzing your own data, but for the most part, shorter is better. Even if your videos run longer than the recommended 21 to 34 seconds, be sure to trim the fat.

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