The Lowdown on TikTok

Call it irony or coincidence, but TikTok is currently living out its name: Moments are ticking away and many are wondering where the fate of this iconic social media app is heading. Among the many who are waiting are marketers and brand owners—and for good reason.

The ongoing and current controversies surrounding TikTok

Here is a timeline of the international intrigue surrounding TikTok…

  • Since 2020, TikTok has come under scrutiny over everything from privacy concerns to how the funding of ad dollars have tightened its strained relationship between China and the United States.

  • In 2021, the US Committee on Foreign Investment (CFIUS) began a security review of TikTok with the goal of checking and regulating the platform in the hopes of avoiding a permanent ban. This review is currently still in progress.

  • On March 23, Show Zi Chew, TikTok’s chief executive, is scheduled to appear before Congress, where he will testify before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. As reported earlier in the week by CNN, this is the latest development in an escalating series of questions and doubts which date back to late last year when TikTok was banned on all government devices and school campuses over concerns that the Chinese Communist party was accessing American user data. The powers that be at TikTok have denied these claims.

  • The CNN article goes on to state the views of several politicians. The proposed all-out ban of TikTok in the United States, according to Senator Chuck Schumer (New York) “should be looked at,” before any quick and definite decisions. Senator Marco Rubio (Florida) and Angus King (Maine) reintroduced legislation which would discontinue allowing TikTok to be used in the country—unless ties are cut with the current owner.

While we won’t know what the outcome of TikTok’s place will be in some time, and despite the controversy, this site currently remains a wildly popular venue for social media marketing…

For now, TikTok continues to thrive

Yes, TikTok may be a political hot potato, but that is not stopping marketers from utilizing the platform in their branding campaigns. In shaky economy, budgets have been cut in many places, and every cent is watched and accounted for. Except for TikTok. Last month, Digiday reported that marketers were maintaining—if not increasing—ad dollars for the production and promotion of TikTok videos. While other marketing strategies are getting smaller, TikTok is apparently growing.

According to the Digiday piece, TikTok currently…

  • Accounts for 25 percent of social media ad budgets

  • Has grown 50 percent year-over-year

  • Counts 850 million the world over, and 40 percent of this number is not on Facebook

The escalating appeal of this app is the ease with which creators—and brands—may create and post authentic content. Authenticity is a top priority in branding, especially with the growing purchase power of the current and future customer: Generation Z

Nicole Penn, President of EGC Group, recently pointed out to Newsday that TikTok is attempting to practice what it preaches in regard to authenticity. The platform is addressing the issues of privacy, as well as separating itself from the parent company where the current controversies are focused.

Where authenticity is concerned, the question that’s top-of-mind is if TikTok’s intention is to serve only as a social media app—and not as a data mining tool—among its creators and executives. That question has yet to be answered.

EGC will stay tuned to the current situation regarding TikTok, along with every other social media platform. We are also ready, willing and able to make your brand seen and heard through the video services at The EGC Content Studio. Everything—from video pre- and post-production to scheduling through the most effective social media practices—is conveniently conducted in-house.

Don’t wait. The clock is TikTok(ing). Contact us to learn more.