TikTok has announced an absolutely massive increase in their character limit when writing captions for your content.
As announced by Social Media expert Matt Navara after noticing a notification in the app, the character limit for captions has increased from 300 to 2,200 which is a whopping 730% increase (which is also interestingly the same character limit as Instagram, but we digress).
The in-app announcement via TikTok reads:
“You can now type up to 2200 characters in your posts’ descriptions: This allows you to express more details about your creations, describing what your videos show, giving you the opportunity to get closer to your audience, generating more engagement while becoming more searchable and better recommended by TikTok to viewers.”
So why the increase from TikTok?
Firstly, it is great for creators as it gives them more freedom to give a deeper explanation of what their content is about. While limited characters are fine for users following a trend with a basic dance or comedy skit, longer captions will allow users who focus on more in-depth topics like science, education or finance to reiterate their points in written form.
It also allows creators more space to increase the number of keywords and relevant hashtags in their captions which will, in turn, make their content more searchable.
Which brings us to our next point and the key reason TikTok has made this leap.
Google recently released a study in which it was discovered that more and more people are turning to TikTok over google as their preferred search engine.
“In our studies, something like almost 40% of young people, when they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search. They go to TikTok or Instagram.” stated Google’s Senior Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan.
With its highly individualised, tailored algorithmic method to refine and highlight relevant search matches that will progressively connect to each user’s interests, TikTok has a major opportunity to capitalise on this. All they need to do is have people use more keywords…
Well, that’s not all they need to do, but it certainly helps. Massively.
If TikTok continues to lean towards discovery and becoming a more influential platform when it comes to search, it could be a major issue for Google.
As per Mashable:
“People are sick of the Google recipe algorithm that prioritizes obscure search engine optimized blogs. It’s been a running joke on the internet that in order to read a recipe you have to get through the blogger’s entire life story, but this is actually deterring the young people I talked to from searching for recipes on Google. Because a TikTok has to quickly grab your attention, recipe videos on the platform are to the point, putting the focus on the food, not the creator.”
This is now going beyond just recipes with users using TikTok to search for restaurants, products, services, life hacks, holiday destinations and more.
With all of this said, it begs the question: should you be working on a TikTok SEO strategy? The data would suggest it would be wise, especially if your key demographic is 16-24 years old. At the very least you should be establishing a presence, generating some engagement and jumping on for the ride.
Considering the speed TikTok is moving, you would hate to be left behind.