Tik Tok Users in the United States have collectively reacted to Donald Trump’s decision to ban new downloads of the video sharing app, but many are already planning to exit other platforms if the restriction leads to a total ban.
“Oh my God! Okay! It’s happening! Everyone stays calm!” TikToker Nick Foster told his 577,000 fans, dubbing a video of actor Steve Carell’s character in The Office panicking during a fire alarm.
Although the new users of the platform, which is its main base, do not seem to have paid much attention the announcement of the government, older users reacted.
“Thank you for the fun,” said The Buyin King, a 22-year-old investor with 438,000 followers.
Some said that for those who already had the application, little would change between Sunday, when the ban on downloads by the government takes effect, and November 12, the cut-off date set Trump administration.
The administration has targeted TikTok, owned by Chinese tech giant Bytedance, for national security, escalating a fight with Beijing over digital technology. The November 12 deadline could allow TikTok and a US data security company to work together to alleviate Washington’s security concerns.
“This is an attitude,” said Jeff Couret, a consultant with 376,000 TikTok followers. “For Trump, it is a way to show TikTok that he means business but without hurting them too much.”
However, most of those who built a follower on TikTok were about to leave.
For people who make a living from social media – such as Addison Rae, who boasts 60.9 million followers and earned $ 5 million between June 2019 and June 2020, according to Forbes magazine – the financial stakes are high. .
For weeks now, many TikTok users have been sharing their Instagram and YouTube accounts on their profiles, preparing their fans for a jump on greener meadows.
Even TikTok gold model Charli D’Amelio – who, with 87.5 million followers in just 16 years, is the platform’s most popular creator – has announced a non-exclusive partnership with Triller, a similar platform where he has already 1.1 million subscribers. .
Bryce Hall, Nessa Barrett and Chase Hudson – largely unknown among those over 20, but with more than 10 million TikTok followers each – have also started Triller accounts.
Trump himself, who never put his fingers in the waters of TikTok, made his debut in the Triller, where he already has 953,000 followers.
In August, Triller announced that it had downloaded 250 million times since its inception, a form challenged by analyst Apptopia, which put the number of downloads closer to 52 million.
The app is not the only one to rise from the ashes of TikTok, which has been downloaded two billion times worldwide and has 100 million users in the US alone.
Also waiting are Byte (not affiliated with parent company TikTok ByteDance), which was released in January, as well as Likee – which Apptopia says was downloaded 7.2 million times in the US between February and August – and Dubsmash.
Not to mention Instagram and YouTube, which have expanded their tentacles with Reels and YouTube Shorts, respectively, whose trial releases have started well in recent months.
The winner “will be what loyal TikTok users consider to be the ‘cool’ part,” said James Mourey, a professor of marketing at DePaul University.
In the current context, “start-ups like Byte may have the advantage, as we know that established brands are gaining ground as they grow older,” Mourey said, noting the migration of newer generations from Facebook to Instagram.
But TikTok was not over yet, Mourey warned.
Much can still happen before November 12, “and remember: TikTok is not banned outside the US, as long as TikTok continues to be the dominant player worldwide, it will continue to innovate and maintain a strong customer base,” he said. he said.