You won’t believe how TikTok creators are preparing for the potential ban in the US

Last Wednesday, the Biden administration demanded ByteDance, the Chinese owner of TikTok, sell off its TikTok stake or risk being banned in the U.S. Now, with continuous conversations surrounding a potential TikTok ban in the US, many creators are rethinking platforms such as Instagram and YouTube to offset any potential loss of revenue streams from the embattled social platform. 

The good news is that over the past few years, many TikTok creators I’ve spoken with have spent the past year or two migrating their audiences to other platforms. Not because the platform was in danger of being banned, but because they struggled to monetize their presence on the app.

On the other hand, many US based TikTok focused creators are starting to re-evaluate where their audience is and if they should start migrating them to another platform. Take Jack Dolan, known as “Nameless James” on social media, as an example. Dolan has over 250,000 followers on Instagram, so that will “be my primary focus for short-form,” he said. “Otherwise, I’m committed to growing my YouTube channel. YouTube is stronger than ever, especially with how much they’re pushing Shorts.” But Dolan added that he’s “not really worried about it right now.” 

The app has made some efforts over the past few months to win over the Biden administration. For example, the app said it would impose an automatic time limit of 60 minutes on users under 18 years old, which could be circumvented with a parental code. It also launched a one-stop-shop for creators with the rollout of Series, which will let creators post paywalled content, meaning they can rely less on brand sponsorships and monetize directly through their fans.

“Creators are savvy business owners, they’re not going to let their fame, or fortune, disappear with a U.S./China data squabble,” said Cynthia Ruff, CEO and co-founder at Hashtag Pay Me, a platform that calculates base rates for creators. “The nice thing about marketing budgets is that these dollars don’t just evaporate from their marketing spend, so brands will likely invest in creator campaigns on other platforms with these dollars.”

Furthermore, agencies don’t seem to feel any threat of American TikTok closure; “we have not seen any of our clients halt or slow TikTok campaigns,” said Evan Horowitz, CEO of the agency Movers+Shakers. “There’s a feeling that ‘we’ve seen this before,’ and we feel confident that it will get sorted out one way or another.”

On what feels like an appropriate endnote, musician Sarah Maddack Bell made a jingle about the potential ban. “I’m gonna keep creating with or without it,” she sings. “I love TikTok with all of my heart, but any platform works as long as you work hard.”

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