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Banning TikTok? I Don’t Think So!

As everybody has probably heard, the US is threatening to ban TikTok. No doubt, this ban would have a major impact on the social media landscape in the US, but it goes far beyond that.

TikTok has, undoubtedly, built a niche in the 30-60 second video space. But reducing TikTok just to a just-for-fun video format would be ignoring our digital history:

  • Facebook was first built on text-based social networking
  • Instagram began with the sharing of photos and images, and
  • YouTube started with the long form of videos

When it comes to sharing short videos, TikTok outperforms the competition. When a short video is put on Instagram, YouTube and TikTok, it performs best on TikTok, which is partially due to its superior personalization algorithms.

While a lot of businesses are still not taking it seriously, TikTok is rapidly expanding its footprint and some major corporations are looking at TikTok as a serious player:

  • Netfllix listed TikTok for the first time as a competitor, due to its global reach and impact with their video content.
  • TikTok has formed a partnership with content providers in the UK, expanding into other areas like education.
  • Disney considers TikTok an interesting and safe channel to reach younger audiences and they anticipate that more high quality video content will make its way onto TikTok
  • A few months ago, TikTok announced that they will launch advertising on their platform.
  • Healthcare has a fast growing presence on TikTok and you can find a lot of good content that goes beyond the 30 second dance video.

In March, TikTok ranked second across all social media platforms in terms of time spent right behind Facebook with 564 minutes/month for the average user, which is staggering.

How big was the threat of a TikTok ban this week? Well, my 22 year-old daughter texted me this week and said I should buy snapchat stock, because if they ban TikTok, everybody will switch back to SnapChat, although she admitted it is not the same.

It is very unlikely that the US government will ban TikTok.

  • First, the US privacy argument will not hold up and cannot be made in the same way as with Huawai hardware.
  • Second, it would expose and make vulnerable all US-based social media giants abroad, with Facebook at the top of the list.

The bottom line is that businesses should start looking at TikTok more closely, even in healthcare and determine if, and how, they could or should use TikTok for reaching new channels and groups. The numbers show that there are major opportunities for businesses.