Firstly, what is TikTok?:
TikTok is a Chinese video-sharing social networking service owned by ByteDance, a Beijing-based internet technology company founded in 2012 by Zhang Yiming. Digitally savvy cool kids, and the slightly confused reminder of us internet surfers use it to create short dance, lip-sync, comedy and talent videos.
Wait, Death of TikTok…hasn’t it only just become a sensation?
Indeed, you would be correct, TikTok, founded in 2016, has seen a stratospheric rise, further propelled forward by the sudden swell in engaged audience members due to the Covid-19 lockdown. At one point it seemed like you couldn’t scroll on any social channel without seeing some family jump around in their kitchen, doing a sequenced dance routine to some obscure dance track. As the Chinese proverb goes “May you live in interesting times”. Indeed.
TikTok’s impact doesn’t just stay digital, as their video virals regularly make the news agenda and interestingly, some little scamps of the #witchtok subculture even made International news not for a video but for cursing the Moon and the Fae, in a TikTok Live gathering.
So yes, TikTok is popular, really popular. It was even forecast by statista.com that by 2022 there would be 100 million active Monthly TikTok users, increasing from the current 80 million. Yozzers!
So, why is it dying?
As previously mentioned, TikTok is owned by a Chinese company and well, that doesn’t sit well with a few people over in the International tech world who have a mistrust of software from other other territories. India has already banned the app due to concerns over national security. Stateside, President Trump has promised to ban the app citing concerns over user data and privacy.
Basically, countries want to be the only ones allowed to mine their peoples’ data.
So is this really the end?
Not quite, Microsoft has been in talks with TikTok to potentially purchase the social channel. Talks, which they claim have been on-going for some time rather than them a knee jerk reaction to the proposed US ban. Likewise, TikTok’s Chinese owner ByteDance is also considering cutting ties with the app so that it doesn’t get killed by these Territory wide bans.
President Trump is also considering backtracking and consulting with his party – hurrah!
Ok so it’s not quite dead yet – so what does this actually mean for PR and digital marketing?
It isn’t over even when the orange man initially screams, so don’t go cancelling all of your TikTok campaign plans just yet – there is still a chance that TikTok will survive to create another dance trend for another day. What we would recommend for brands and TikTok influencers themselves, is that they research other apps which have similar functionality and not to place all of their digital marketing plans in one video editing basket. Sites such as Triller, “Byte”and Facebook owned “Reels” offer the same concept without as much of the politics.
So I should keep practicing my dance moves?
Never stop dancing, darlings. Ever.
Make sure to check in for more Slices from Digital PR pie and make sure to send any questions or thoughts over to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or via our social channels:
You never know, we may even make a post about it.
Until next time, Mc&T
*Yes, cursing the moon. We don’t get it either. It’s like the cosmic version of messing with Cats on the internet.