What Could A Potential United States TikTok Ban Mean For Brands and Marketers?

Published On: March 3rd, 2023Categories: TikTokBy

What Could A Potential United States TikTok Ban Mean For Brands and Marketers?

It’s safe to say that TikTok has taken the United States by storm over the past few years. The short-form  video app managed to overtake Instagram in terms of downloads just a couple of weeks after its launch and is available in over 150 countries. Brands and creators alike have taken to the platform to create engaging content to cultivate a following, grow their businesses, and sell products. Now, TikTok has been a hot topic in the news, as the Biden Administration has threatened a nationwide ban on the app unless its Chinese owner promises to sell its stake in the company, as reported by TIME


Why would the United States, and other countries, want to ban this wildly popular app with over 1.53 billion users? Lawmakers have shown concern that TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance, may expose private user data, like browsing history and  location information, to the Chinese government. The US government is also concerned that China could use TikTok’s content recommendations for misinformation. The app has denied any allegations that the Chinese government is secretly looking for data from companies and citizens for data-gathering purposes. TikTok has also tried to distance itself from ByteDance.


TikTok does not believe that divesting will not solve the problem if protecting national security is the objective. A TikTok spokesperson said that “the best way to address concerns about national security is with the transparent, U.S.-based protection of U.S. user data and systems, with robust third-party monitoring, vetting, and verification, which we are already implementing.” 


What this means for TikTok users 

Creators on the platform are nervous about what a potential ban could mean for their income. Many content creators earn their living through Creator Fund payments and brand partnerships. Top influencers make up to $250,000 for a sponsored post, per Forbes, so losing out on that income is a valid concern. General users of the app are worried they will lose a main source of their daily entertainment. 


What this means for the social media landscape 

A ban on TikTok could open the door for other key players in the social space, such as YouTube and Meta’s Instagram and Facebook, to fill the void. Twitter CEO Elon Musk even said a few months ago that he was considering reinstating Vine, the short-form video app that went offline in 2019. 


Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube would need to adjust their standards, however, as these apps are known for a more curated look and feel, while TikTok is more authentic. Additionally, the TikTok algorithm boosts the most popular content, regardless of follower size, making it easier for creators or brands to go viral and rack up new followers and engagements. Businesses can also tap into niche audiences on TikTok to connect with users who may be interested in their brand. Meta and YouTube will need to shift their strategy to be in line with how TikTok is successful, all while staying true to their brand personas. 


What this means for your business 

TikTok is a majorly valuable asset for businesses. As of now, investing in this platform is still valuable as the number of US TikTok buyers is set to rise by 72.3% this year to reach 23.7 million. Social media platforms adapt and evolve constantly, so we are not so sure the app will actually be banned in the US. Additionally, a government-implemented ban that prevents Americans from using an app that allows them to share their opinions and art could face legal challenges on First Amendment grounds.

What you can do to prepare, should this ban ever become a reality, is start sharing your video content on Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts to ensure you are maintaining brand visibility across platforms. 

Looking for expert advice on the future of advertising? Email us at sbellem@bbrookstone.com to get started. We would love to help you develop your social media strategy for 2023 and beyond! 

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