TikTok, the short vertical video service that has grown wildly popular in recent years, has begun testing horizontal full-screen videos among select users around the world, reports TechCrunch.
Users with access to the test feature will see a new “full screen mode” button on square or rectangular videos in their feed. This allows you to expand the video to the entire plane of the smartphone screen. A format that YouTube users have long been used to.
The test feature marks yet another way that TikTok is confidently making inroads into YouTube territory. Earlier this year, the service gave users the ability to upload videos up to 10 minutes long. The move was seen as a way for TikTok to attract the same long-form video creators who typically host content on YouTube. With the extension, creators have more flexibility to shoot things like cooking demos, beauty tutorials, educational content, comedy sketches and more without having to worry too much about video length.
Now that TikTok has been supporting longer content for a while, it makes sense for the company to improve the viewing experience for users who watch such videos, as well as make the creative experience better for creators. The latter often add the message “turn the smartphone” at the beginning of the video so that users can fully enjoy the content that will be played if they recorded the video in a horizontal position. With this feature, authors will no longer have to do that.
As with any beta feature, it’s unknown when or if TikTok plans to release full-screen mode to all users. It’s also worth noting that if TikTok decides to release this feature officially, the final product may look different than the test version.
One way TikTok could change the feature before the official rollout is to make it more intuitive. Currently, users need to press a button to switch to full-screen mode, but perhaps in the future it will be possible to do this by simply rotating the smartphone to a horizontal position.