What does that mean for creators?
Will TikTok be banned? That’s a question many people ask.
And so far the answer seems to be no. This hugely popular app is unlikely to disappear any time soon.
But the U.S. government is talking about outlawing it, and U.S. politicians are lashing out at government bosses, citing privacy and national security concerns.
One state, Montana, just passed a law banning TikTok on personal devices from next year.
It’s a tense time for content creators who have built careers on their apps offering content like comedy sketches, music, and beauty tutorials for their followers.
BBC Newsbeat spoke with three popular TikTokers who have no plans to quit TikToker just yet.
“Big Ripple Effect”
Arthur Hill started posting comedy clips on TikTok while in college. Now he has his 1.4 million followers, perhaps best known for videos of him sharing a bed with singer James Blunt.
Arthur confessed that he’s been aware of TikTok’s concerns since he started using it, but that he’s “a bit of an idiot” when it comes to online privacy.
“I’m obsessed with keeping everything simple, so I just say, ‘Yes, I’ll register and give you the details.’ So I’m the worst,” he says.
“At first, I thought it might have been more of a conspiracy theory,” he says.
But recent government bans on the device and congressional hearings have dampened his confidence.
Arthur believes discontinuing TikTok now would be “pretty big and would ruin a lot of people’s lives and careers.”
“For other apps, I think it will have a big ripple effect, and how Instagram reacts, how YouTube reacts.
“I think everything goes a little bit wrong.”
Arthur, who has already started making inroads on YouTube and Instagram, feels “lucky” as a comedian because his content could work on other sites.
Even if TikTok dies, Arthur hopes there will eventually be a replacement, though it’s unclear how quickly that will happen.
“I feel like they’ve nailed it perfectly, and I don’t know if anyone can reproduce the algorithm.”
“It does a lot of damage to the music.”
Music is part of TikTok’s DNA, and songs that go viral on the app have the potential to become mainstream blockbusters.
Croydon rapper Stepz was named TikTok’s breakout artist last summer. He currently has 3 million followers.
He said the app helped explode his music brand, Positive Drill, and believes no other app has done as much.
“British rap music used to stab this, stab that, but now really talented kids can show off their sound and if it’s good it will ring,” he said. says.
Steps said the app gave young people a platform where record labels and scouts could see their work, allowing them to tap into an industry they might not otherwise have been able to enter. said.
In his view, banning TikTok would “do a lot of damage to music.”
“Imagine if you post a video and you get 100,000 or 1 million views, that’s your chance,” he says.
Stepz sees more than just TikTok as his success. He says he felt “it was supposed to happen” because of his confidence and faith.
“But I don’t think it was that fast,” he says.
“It feels real”
Monique started her beauty and skincare channel, Skinfiltrator, during the pandemic, and her account has grown to 160,000 followers.
Many of her videos have millions of views, she says, because the app “rewards small creators” more than other platforms.
Monique said she has gained a global audience and has partnered with some of the world’s biggest beauty brands.
She says this “definitely” wouldn’t have happened without TikTok.
“If you meet people, they’ll say, ‘Oh, you do skincare on TikTok.’ So it’s impossible. There’s no way.”
As a creator who specializes in black and Asian skin tips, Monique said TikTok’s algorithm “does not discriminate.”
While she admits that TikTok is “not perfect” when it comes to race, she said being selected for the app’s Black Creators program made it “the only social platform that really felt supportive.” talk.
“I was able to connect with international dermatologists and fellow skincare experts, which gave me the best knowledge,” she says.
Monique also believes consumers will lose out if TikTok is banned, as it will make it easier for specialty product companies to reach new audiences.
She attributes TikTok’s popularity to its credibility, which has been criticized for lacking in apps like Instagram.
“People are sick of the hard sell. They’re sick of creators being fake, influencers being fake. They want authenticity, they want relatability, and Tik Tok. is very sympathetic.
“So I don’t think it will be replaced by another app anytime soon.”
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