It seems we can’t go a week without some kind of TikTok news.
TikTok, which has experienced incredibly rapid growth, is now the leading social media app for generation Z and Millennials alike. Advertisers and marketers have been racing to start targeting the massive audience using the app.
This week, TikTok found itself under the spotlight for a less than positive reason. With tensions between America and China reaching a new high, Donald Trump announced the potential ban of the app in America.
Why are countries looking into banning TikTok?
The movement of countries to ban the app follows concerns over data privacy. International governments are currently reviewing several Chinese apps following the concern over TikTok.
TikTok isn’t unfamiliar to controversy. Behind the memes and dance crazes, TikTok has already been banned in India – twice. Although the original ban was overturned, Indian authorities in June 2020 once again slapped TikTok with another official ban. America looks next in line to deal the app a harsh blow.
How exactly would America be able to ban TikTok?
Donald Trump told reporters on the 31st of July 2020 that America will be potentially banning TikTok in the USA. While talks are still being held by officials, people are beginning to speculate how the government would go about actually banning the app.
The obvious place to start is by removing the app from stores such as Apple and Google. This would, of course, stop new users from being able to download the app.
However, existing users would still have the app installed on their phones. In this instance, the app would not be able to update or send notifications to the device it is installed on.
Another option is to tell both Apple and Google to essentially ‘pull the plug’ on the app in America. This would wipe the app and stop it from launching when attempted to be opened by a user.
Finally, American authorities could also encourage local internet providers to block access to TikTok’s servers. This would therefore also stop videos being accessed on their website domain too.
What is being done to fight the ban?
Currently, Microsoft have expressed an interest in buying the app to add to their growing claim over social media – they already own LinkedIn. The tech giant is apparently in talks with Donald Trump over buying TikTok from their parent company, ByteDance.
However, Microsoft isn’t looking into just buying TikTok in America, it wants to buy the app across four territories. These include the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
With that in mind, it looks like negotiations will go on for about six weeks before a final decision about TikTok’s future in American can be made.
Does this mean other countries will ban the app?
While we haven’t had any official news yet on the UK’s stance, we do know that they are currently ‘probing’ the app. Although, they haven’t said what they are looking for.
Many are assuming they are looking into some of the TikTok’s known data sets including:
- Which videos are watched and commented on
- Location data
- Phone model and operating system
- Keystroke rhythms when people type
For now, marketers have nothing to worry about in terms of utilising the app. It is worth noting that both America and India have strained relationships with China. This could be part of the driving factor for readily looking into banning the app.
As an official TikTok advertising partner, we’ll bring the latest updates as and when they happen.