With TikTok currently under fire from the US government and other governments around the world, social media analysts wonder if a ban against the platform could lead to a rally on the part of older competitors like Meta’s Instagram and long-running streaming site YouTube.
With TikTok’s potential exit from the United States imminent as of press time, could spell some serious trouble for millions of online content creators to whom the platform has given a viable living. On the flip side, however, it could open numerous opportunities for the Chinese content platform’s competitors who have chafed under its dominance for the past several years.
Ever since TikTok came onto the scene, both YouTube and Instagram (and even Facebook and Twitter to a lesser extent) have tried to draw away users through similar features: Shorts for the former, and Reels for the latter. Now, though, rival platforms are bracing themselves to receive an exodus from TikTok, particularly those who are coming up with alternative solutions they could deploy through older social media networks.
Why the Ban?
Suspicions of the platform being used by the Chinese as a way of spying on other nations have led to TikTok facing regulatory action across the globe. Indeed, if the United States imposes a ban against the platform, it will be the second to put one in place against it.
In 2020, India banned TikTok due to its suspicions against its Chinese developers. Since then, Indian short-format streaming apps like Moj and Roposo have gained more widespread usage throughout the country and are now enjoying success.
Despite the flak, TikTok’s team in the United States has been working to assure users and government regulators that the platform is compliant with all the necessary measures to protect user security and privacy.
Company spokesperson Maureen Shanahan pointed out that TikTok is currently being used by around 150 million individual Americans, as well as around five million domestic businesses. Shanahan added that the company is confident about the way it addresses any and all concerns regarding national security.
As of last week, the Biden administration, Congress, and several states have already banned the use of the app in mobile devices issued to government employees or used in public sector agencies.
What Happens Now?
Given how TikTok executives continue to be grilled by the relevant government agencies, it’s still too early to predict if the platform will end up getting banned completely from the United States.
For now, however, there are two schools of thought regarding the situation. On one hand, the removal of TikTok as a competitor could enable the likes of YouTube and Instagram to step up their game in terms of more innovative features for content creators. On the other, the removal of a major rival could also drive competitors into developmental stagnation.
In any case, the TikTok issue has been a wake-up call for content developers who are now scrambling for a Plan B to stay relevant to their core audiences.