In the world of viral videos, the Chinese-owned video sharing mobile application, TikTok has become the fastest-growing social media platform in the world. With over 800 million active followers, across 154 countries, and over one million video views each day, marketers are taking note and looking for innovative ways to leverage the platform’s popularity. In recent months, TikTok has become the topic of fierce debate as the Trump administration has swiftly moved to deem the platform as a national security threat due to the application’s ties to China.
According to President Trump’s August 6th Executive Order, ByteDance, the owners of TikTok have 45 days to sell their U.S.-based business or risk being permanently banned from the country. As the platform has grown to boast more than 80 million American users, the likelihood that this executive order will be upheld, and not aggressively appealed is unlikely.
As it stands, TikTok’s popularity has other social media platforms taking notice and looking for ways to offer and incorporate more engaging micro video sharing and creation options for their followers. For example, parent company, Facebook, has recently launched Reels in August 2020, giving Instagram users the ability to make and edit short, 15-second videos to share on their profiles. In addition, Facebook is exploring other short-form video options that will enable Facebook users to create 26-second vertical videos that can be manually edited and customized with various text overlay features.
The rush to create short-form video content is not just heating up in the American market, but has quickly escalated in East Asia, where TikTok is banned. In India, TikTok as well as 58 other Chinese-owned video sharing mobile applications were banned from use on June 29, 2020. In just two months, social media platforms that are not currently banned are aggressively ramping up their new video recording, editing, and sharing features to capitalize on this new (and now) empty market.
For brands and marketers looking to reach a younger demographic, between the ages of 13-24, implementing a TikTok marketing strategy could be a very viable option. With the average user spending more than 46 minutes on the mobile app each day, finding ways to create engaging and easily shareable short-form video content could be a highly effective way to build brand awareness. The key to leveraging TikTok for marketing is in following what’s trending and using that as a way to shape and influence your social media content calendar.
However, the fate of TikTok seems rather uncertain as talks between ByteDance and potential buyer, Microsoft, have temporarily stalled with ByteDance officially suing the Trump Administration over the platform’s forced sale. What will come of the lawsuit will ultimately determine what happens next for the popular video sharing site. As it stands now, nearly a billion active users hang in the balance, as countries from around the world continue to crack down on the platform’s use.