Are Short Video Clips Making a Comeback Through TikTok?

Have you heard of TikTok, the music video focused app which enables users to post short clips – mostly lip-synching or dancing – and share them with friends?

If you haven’t heard of TikTok, you’ve likely heard of musical.ly, which, since August, has been re-branded as TikTok after being acquired by the app’s parent company, ByteDance, back in November 2017.

Whether it’s on your radar or not, it is worth paying attention to – according to new research from apptopia, TikTok is growing fast, with worldwide downloads up 20% in the last three months, and U.S. downloads up 25%.

In fact, TikTok is currently seeing more downloads than Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.

Tik Tok app ranking [chart]

YouTube Adds Vertical Video Ad Options, Moving with Usage Trends

Not everyone’s a fan of the vertical video format, but the usage stats don’t lie, and with more users becoming more accustomed to viewing content without having to turn their devices sideways, online video leader YouTube has been slowly adding in more features to align with the trend. Their latest announcement on this front comes in the form of new vertical video ad units, which will enable brands to capitalize on full-length presentation.

An example of a YouTube vertical video ad

“Advertisers can now snap up slots that fill up a users’ screen when they’re viewing content on YouTube’s mobile app in a similar way to the ads served by the likes of Instagram and Snapchat. […] Hyundai is among the brands to have trialed the new creative format, which expands based on the dimensions of the video.”

As noted, with the growth of the vertical Stories format, the addition makes perfect sense. YouTube had initially resisted making the switch to accommodate vertical content, but has since added in a range of support options, and with that, the logic of introducing vertical ad units seems like a bit of a no-brainer. More than 70% of YouTube watch time happens on mobile devices, and while YouTube hasn’t provided specific stats on vertical viewing, the announcement would suggest that it’s also rising significantly.

In addition, YouTube has also announced that brands will soon be able to buy ads which appear in user home feeds, capitalizing on YouTube’s recommendation engine. Again, as per The Drum, the amount of watch time driven by recommendations on YouTube’s home feed has grown three-fold over the past three years, amounting to another opportunity to maximize ad response.

You may not personally like vertical video content, and video creators, in particular, tend to dislike the quality concessions they need to make for the format. But again, the stats don’t lie. It could be in your best interests to start investigating ways to tap into the ‘taller’ video form.

Amazon is planning to give Prime Video a big makeover

Screen Shot 2018-07-31 at 9.07.39 AM.pngCould user profiles and better personalization features be coming to Amazon’s Prime Video app at long last? The company’s new Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke just teased that a major upgrade to Amazon’s streaming video app is in the works – and she already has it running on a phone in her office, she said.

The exec was speaking at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour in L.A., according to reports from AdWeek [paywall], TheWrap, and Deadline, when she mentioned the app’s big makeover.

And while Salke’s statements were light on key details – like when such an effort would reach end users, for example, or what changes, exactly, would be in store, there’s plenty of room to speculate on what Prime Video’s app today lacks.

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