YouTube Extends File Limit to 15 Minutes

Good news for all those YouTubers who have a lot to say — everyone’s favorite online video site is now giving you more time to say it in. Five whole minutes more.

On the YouTube blog, the company announced today that all users can now upload video files that are up to 15 minutes long, up from the site’s previous (and long-running) limit of 10 minutes for non-partner videos.

Product manager Joshua Siegel wrote that the increase was due to adoption and confidence in its Content ID system, a fingerprinting technology that enables rights holders to take over or take down videos that have been uploaded by YouTube users without their permission. YouTube says that now, nearly three years after launch, “all of the major U.S. movie studios, music labels and over 1,000 other global partners use Content ID to manage their content on YouTube.”

YouTube might also just figure it has the network capacity to handle longer videos. The site has gradually added features and functionality that has boosted the quality of videos and potential file sizes that users can upload. In late 2008, YouTube started accepting HD videos and a few months later doubled the maximum file size limit. Last November it added support for 1080p video, and then a few weeks ago extended support for users to watch some especially large videos in their native 4096p resolution. With the capability to process all that HD video passing through its pipes, YouTube no doubt believed it could handle video uploads that were 50 percent longer.

To encourage users to take advantage of the new upload limit, YouTube is asking users to make videos detailing their “15 minutes of fame” and uploading them by August 4. YouTube will review videos tagged “yt15minutes” and will select a few of the more interesting to be highlighted on the YouTube homepage.

Related content on GigaOM Pro: Why Viacom’s Fight With YouTube Threatens Web Innovation (subscription required)