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In the past month, the popular content creation app TikTok has been banned by the Indian government after news about data mining by the Chinese government. President Donald Trump followed precedent, announcing on Friday night that a TikTok ban could be in the works as soon as Saturday using executive action. This decision comes with great backlash by users, celebrities, as well as numerous brands.
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The Recent News
TikTok has become a staple in the Generation Z online community. In early 2018, popular Chinese video app Douyin merged with Musical.ly to create TikTok. It was during this time, that TikTok was first introduced to the United States, where it then blew up into one of the most popular apps downloaded of all time.
To date, over 80 million users in the US alone use the app almost daily. People of all ages are using this platform to deliver unique content. From teens following new dance trends to moms making lunch, and even grandparents participating in challenges– TikTok is creating a unique community. With this big of an online presence, the United States is hesitant to continue letting citizens use this app despite numerous security concerns.
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This is not the first time that the United States has had to deal with TikTok and the data mining accusations. On December 16, 2019, the Pentagon had its own TikTok ban, banning the app from many branches of the United States Military due to privacy threats. The Chinese government was able to access the exact location of US personnel due to the TikTok app tracking their location. Now, government-issued devices are not allowed to access the app.
In recent weeks, it has been brought to light that TikTok is able to view:
- Specific videos that are viewed and commented on by a user
- The operating system and phone model of user
- The exact keystrokes of a user’s typing
- The location of the device
To many, this is a cause of concern over online privacy. We now live in a world where we have access to everything at our fingertips. Most of our daily interactions have technology involved in some way whether it is through email, cell phone use, or even credit card transactions. It is hard to be sure how to protect yourself in a world where it is almost impossible. Here is information on how to take steps in the right direction.
TikTok As A Lifestyle
Over the recent months, numerous TikTok stars have had their rise to fame and will be forced to find new platforms to perform on. There are numerous new short-video apps that are becoming increasingly popular in the app store.
All of these apps have the same premise where users have the ability to post unique content, where others can interact with it.
This potential TikTok ban questions the livelihood of many creators who use this platform as a career. Over the years, countless influencers have created a personal brand and heavily rely on TikTok to push out their content. Below is a list of TikTok stars who gained their fame solely from this app.
|Influencer||TikTok Follower Count|
|Chase Hudson (Lil Huddy)||22,600,000|
Not only is TikTok great for promoting personal brands, but TikTok also appeals to businesses because of the relatively cheap marketing. Typically, online influencers tend to undersell themselves making it cheaper for big brands to advertise to their consumers.
Using influencers for marketing turns a higher ROI (Return on Investment) than the typical billboard or television ad. This means that they can invest less money on advertising, while still selling more of a product. Having an influencer marketing a specific product lets a consumer know that “famous people” also use the product-so they should too.
Not only do influencers market for brands, but TikTok as a whole also uses “brand takeover” to repeatedly highlight a specific product. For example, when opening the app, the first thing a user see’s is the partnered brand’s ad that often includes an influencer. For example, Hollister recently partnered with Charli D’Amelio (TikTok’s most-followed user) to advertise their jeans. Many who use TikTok know that Charli D’Amelio is notorious for always having well-fitted jeans. What better way to advertise?
So What’s Next?
Fortunately for avid TikTok users, tech mogul Microsoft recently stated they are willing to buy out TikTok. This is a big deal following the recent news of the recent potential TikTok ban. TikTok is a powerhouse when it comes to social media, and is a “hot brand” for anyone interested in purchasing. Critics are quick to judge if this is a smart business deal for both companies. For TikTok, this is smart. Being purchased means that the brand will continue to live on without any hesitation. There is more at stake on Microsoft’s end. In the past, Microsoft has bought out “hot companies” that end up failing in the long run. As of now, we do not know whether or not this deal will go through, and if it does how TikTok will change.
Most Recent Update! 8/7/2020
As of August 7th, 2020 President Trump announced that unless TikTok is sold by its Chinese parent company, he will enact a TikTok ban in the United States in 45 days. This news comes after rumors have been circulating for numerous days about this subject. President Trump gives United States companies until September 15th as a deadline for completing any transactions. More news to come!
Come back to our blogs, for up-to-date information on this critical news story.