Are TikTok stars moving away from the app?
Updated: Nov 8, 2020
The biggest news in tech this week is the debate on banning TikTok.
TikTok, the social media network that allows users to take and share short videos, recently came under fire after it was discovered that the mobile app’s security policy collected an excessive amount of data.
Due to this, President Trump has issued an executive order banning any US company from doing business with TikTok’s China-based parent company, ByteDance.
So, where does this leave influencers?
The viral video app has been praised for its ability to create influencers. TikTok advocates love how the site allows for people to grow their platform quickly. Many people have become a sensation, gathering millions of followers by creating content on the site.
Earning a big enough following means influencers get sponsorships from companies to make videos. This is how people make money from the app.
With the fate of TikTok hanging in the balance, many influencers’ platforms are also at stake. But moving their platform is not as simple as picking another app.
With other top social media sites, like Instagram and Youtube, there is more competition for attention. Videos that get millions of views on TikTok may only get thousands of views on other networks.
Despite the uphill battle they’re facing, TikTok stars are urging fans to follow their other social media accounts in hopes to maintain their platform and their income.
Where Can TikTok Stars Go?
After the executive order, Instagram is trying to attract TikTok users with its new short video feature, called Reels. This TikTok competitor allows creators to have another way to share their content. The feature has been released in over 50 countries.
YouTube is another site where creators can release videos. However, TikTok users are weary to move there because the videos are typically longer than the 15-second clips they are used to making.
Why the Ban?
The discovery that ByteDance has access to a large amount of user data for those who download the app, such as IP address and location data, has raised concerns about the integrity of the company.
While ByteDance claims it would not reveal this information to the Chinese government, the Chinese Communist Party reserves the right to mandate records from any China-based company.
There is also the concern that the app will be used to spread propaganda in order to influence the upcoming election. Another security concern is the app could be used to spy on government officials.
However, don’t count TikTok out yet. US companies are in talks with buying TikTok’s US operations, the biggest player being Microsoft. But, it’ll take a pretty penny, as it might cost up to $30 billion.
Microsoft, one of the richest tech companies and already having ties to China, is the front runner for saving TikTok in the US.
If the company goes through with the purchase, it will help Microsoft’s relationship with young people, as the app is used widely amongst teens. It would also make businesses more willing to interact with TikTok without worrying about security concerns.
The future of TikTok and the creators of the site are still uncertain, but influencers are trying their best to maintain their platform in any way possible.