RIP TikTok: The things we’ll miss most about the app when it’s gone
President Donald Trump has threatened to ban TikTok on numerous occasions. Last month, the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, confirmed rumors about the U.S. trying to ban social media apps created in China.
TikTok has become increasingly popular during the lockdown. This social media app is used to upload videos, and some of its most famous content includes clips of pranks, dancing, and cooking.
The Chinese brand ByteDance bought Musica.ly in 2017, and merged it with TikTok creating what eventually became the app we know today. ByteDance is being requested to sell the U.S. branch of TikTok due to national security concerns.
Basis for banning TikTok
Several situations have created friction between the U.S. & China. Both countries have struggled to maintain a neutral relationship amidst the COVID-19 pandemic – issues with the tech company Huawei, and the discovery of Chinese researchers harbored by the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco who committed visa fraud haven’t helped.
The U.S. government proposal to ban TikTok is allegedly based on the concern for the user’s private information. In particular, the U.S. government is worried about the app leaking users’ personal information to the Chinese government.
Branches of the U.S. military have already banned TikTok from government-issued devices. The Pentagon has also asked its employees to uninstall the app.
One of the tools the U.S. could use against TikTok is the International Economy Emergency Powers Act. Thanks to this act, the U.S. can ban any form of communication suspected to be a threat to national security.
Rumors say Microsoft is taking the lead to buy the Chinese app. Buying TikTok would be a decisive move for Microsoft, since it’s one of the few big software companies which has yet to own a social media app.
If Microsoft acquired TikTok, it would become a stronger competitor for other social media platforms such as YouTube & Facebook. TikTok is one of Facebook’s biggest rivals as expressed by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO.
TikTok users have expressed their concern about the potential ban. Some of the creators on the app have been promoting some of their other social media profiles in order to maintain their number of followers.
Streaming services like TikTok have allowed users to earn an income creating content, so the ban could potentially lead to unemployment for many people.
Last Saturday, Vanessa Pappas, TikTok U.S. General Manager, uploaded a video to TikTok thanking its users for the support, saying “we’re not planning on going anywhere”.
What we’ll miss
TikTok has proven to be a versatile platform which is why it’s become so successful. Users are able to upload different types of content including parodies, lip-syncing to songs, and monologues.
Some of the content featured in TikTok closely resembles Vine’s – which is why many people used the Chinese app. Vine was an app created in 2012, and bought by Twitter during the same year. Vine allowed its users to create short videos, which were played in a loop. Just like Vine’s content, many of the videos appearing in TikTok are created as a form of comedy.
Another attractive feature of TikTok was the dancing videos. These clips became popular for showing dance moves which are currently popular, or showcasing a user’s complex dancing styles.
Some users specialized in cooking videos. There are several accounts on TikTok which focus on baking or cooking, and gained the users’ attention for the interesting recipes or the dishes’ presentation.
While many other people have shown dislike towards the app, TikTok is one of the most downloaded apps today. We hope the app’s users are still able to publish their content, and generate an income as creators.