TikTok is testing a new landscape mode with select users around the world.
The Chinese-owned app, which helped to popularise portrait-style videos through 15-second clips, has since expanded to allow longer videos of up to 10 minutes. This change is likely to help the platform compete with YouTube, which recently announced its own Shorts (videos of 60 seconds) to rival TikTok.
Users who are able to test out the new horizontal mode will see a “full screen” button on square or rectangle videos in their feed. Upon clicking the button, the video will change into a landscape style.
In July, TechCrunch revealed how children and teenagers had spent more time watching videos on TikTok than YouTube after analysing the data of 400,000 families. The research was carried out by parental control software-maker Qustodio.
The trend began in June 2020 when TikTok first outperformed YouTube in terms of average minutes of use per day among young people aged four to 18.
Calls to ban TikTok
Despite the immense popularity of the video-sharing app, US Republican Senator Marco Rubio announced bipartisan legislation to ban TikTok over security issues, including concerns that it could be used to spy on Americans.
“It is troubling that, rather than encouraging the administration to conclude its national security review of TikTok, some members of Congress have decided to push for a politically motivated ban that will do nothing to advance the national security of the United States,” a TikTok representative said in a statement.
The representative added that the company would continue to brief members of Congress on the plans that are “well under way” to “further secure our platform" in the US.
In 2020, then US-president Donald Trump tried to ban the app but lost a series of court battles.
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