TikTok Ban

TikTok Ban

TikTok Ban explained

In March, the House of Representatives passed a bill that could ban TikTok in the United States. 

Ever since TikTok boomed into popularity in 2018 in the US, there have been concerns from some people that it takes our data and that it is a threat to national security. 

The house has given ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, 6 months to either sell the app or be banned in the United States. There have since been rumors of extending this deadline to a year instead of 6 months in hopes that it gives ByteDance time to sell their shares. 

Critics of the bill say that it violates the First Amendment rights of the millions of Americans who use the app, saying that by taking it away it is silencing them and taking away a platform used to express themselves and get information.

What does this mean for businesses? 

Let’s start with some TikTok Stats from Sprouts Social to understand how popular the app truly is: 

  1. TikTok is the most frequently used app worldwide
  2. 36.7% of TikTok users are 18-24 years old and account for the largest share of TikTok’s advertising audience
  3. The United States has the largest collection of TikTok users globally with 148 million monthly unique users

With these numbers in mind, it is obvious that TikTok plays a big role in the daily lives of millions of Americans. Banning it could be detrimental to many businesses’ marketing efforts. 

TikTok marketing is unique. TikTok states that: “70% of TikTok users discover new brands and products on TikTok.” 

The ability to reach large audiences based on hashtags, popular sounds, and trends is a new and incredible way to utilize social media in business. Not to mention the power of TikTok Shop

TikTok Shop makes buying so easy! The algorithm brings your product or service directly to users that have shown interest in similar content. It then puts the items shopping link directly on the video, allowing a user to just click and buy in just seconds. Plus, TikTok has the unique opportunity to collaborate with influencers in a meaningful way for your business. By utilizing influencers in your marketing on TikTok, you can give your brand credibility. 

The TikTok Ban: Our Prediction

There is not an obvious direction social media will go if the ban goes through, but we have some predictions. 

Our first prediction is that a new app will rise to the challenge to fill the hole that TikTok would leave. There is no shortage of apps out there that could serve the same purpose TikTok does now. Knowing that the platform could be banned, it is safe to assume that app developers everywhere are feverishly working to create the next version of TikTok. 

Our second prediction is that an established platform would step up, more specifically Instagram. Meta has already proven that Reels are an important marketing tool for businesses. The algorithm is similar to TikTok as it targets people directly based on their interests. Combining the algorithm with Instagram Shopping– it seems to already be on the way to step up if needed. 

If we had to pick which is more likely to happen, we would have to say that in the short term, Instagram would be where people flock to after the loss of TikTok. With the app already being established and having a similar short video feature as TikTok, it would be easy for users to switch over to it.  

In the long term, we could see hundreds of thousands of TikTok-like platforms coming to life and fighting to fill that spot. One will come to light as the new best short-form video platform and then peace will be restored in the social media marketing realm. 

No matter what happens, Social Media Marketing is very adaptable. There is always a way to market to the millions of social media users out there and social media managers are always on the lookout for the next best thing. 

Written by: Elyse Merbach

Sources: CBS News, CNBC, Marketing Donut, Money, Sprout Social 1, Sprout Social 2, USA Today