With over 1 Billion active users and a top-five in downloads for the past 2 years in a row, TikTok has become one of the leading platforms for content creators all over the world.
Dances, songs, and funny videos are only part of what has made the platform what it is today. On the other side stands hundreds of companies going through the platform’s own ADV and influencers to reach millions of users daily.
However, as the platform continues to grow and the sales in advertisements skyrocket, the spotlight gets hotter and hotter- especially on its privacy and links to Chinese security services.
TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Beijing based technology company founded in 2012 which is subject, like all Chinese based companies, to governmental discretion pertaining to user data. The platform addressed this issue during the summer by moving its servers to the U.S. and only keeping backups in Singapore.
Despite this, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggested in an interview with Fox News on Monday that a U.S. ban on TikTok may not be as far away as we think. While the possibility of this is not yet confirmed, Pompeo made it clear that the U.S. has TikTok and other Chinese social media apps on its radar.
This will add to the pressure already faced by the platform from India and Australia, both of which have taken concrete steps to ban TikTok in their countries.
While news of this shakes TikTok to its core, many brands may have to face the potential for major changes in how they use ADV and influencers on TikTok. Brands have thrived with the ability to launch simple user-generated campaigns. With Elf Cosmetics’ #EyesLipsFace campaign hashtag now reaching over 3.8 billion uses and #BangEnergy coming in at 3.3 Billion, the visibility brands can gain from TikTok is unprecedented.
So, with an uncertain future ahead and the renegade still stuck in our heads, we will all have to pay attention and brace for what’s to come for the fate of TikTok.