TikTok has announced changes to the character limit for video descriptions, significantly increasing it from 300 to 2,200. The restrictions started at 150 and doubled to 300 last year.
TikTok said the move allows creators to provide more detailed descriptions of their videos, making their content more searchable and recommended by TikTok viewers.
The change was reported by social media consultant Matt Navara, who tweeted the notice from TikTok, adding,: “This means a lot for developers and for TikTok becoming a search engine. Significant for the plan.”
Jewellers with knowledge of SEO will be able to optimize their descriptions which, even if not read by users, can still be used by the TikTok algorithm to surface content.
TikTok challenges existing platforms
TikTok has snowballed in recent years and now has more than 1 billion daily users. The competition for the short video format niche and Gen Z users is fierce. Instagram and YouTube have added reels or short clips to their short video content offerings. Just last week, YouTube announced plans to monetize short clips.
Google recognizes the challenge TikTok poses to the search habits of young people to keep up with faster, smoother internet experiences. As Google SVP Prabhakar Raghavan admits, they often use apps like Instagram and TikTok to find more holistic content rather than typing in keywords.
Looking to the future
An article by Connie Chan for Andreessen Horowitz provides useful context for where TikTok and video search might go in the future, based on the development of TikTok’s sister app Douyin Search on ByteDance. She tweeted:
“I wrote about what happens when @Tiktok_US becomes a search destination, overtaking @Google @Yelp and Maps searches. There’s no need to guess what it will look like – just look to China to see what happened there.”
For years, Douyin has successfully monetized short videos using tags with in-app pages linked to stores and locations where users can benefit from discount coupons.