Elon Musk’s X (Twitter) and Mark Zuckerberg’s Threads have been dominating headlines across the world in recent months. That’s no surprise, given how significant the events at both companies have been.
While other big stories have been briefly eclipsed, they haven’t gone away. The TikTok ban was the talk of the world at the start of the summer, and this has quietly rumbled on while the X and Meta rivalry captured our attention.
Just a few months ago, it seemed like a nationwide US TikTok ban was inevitable, with Montana the first state to pass legislation in an effort to curtail the use of the app. Things have quietened down somewhat since then, but US authorities are still debating the issue, and TikTok is facing new restrictions in additional countries around the world.
The US Committee on Foreign Investment has been locked in talks about the future of TikTok in the country, with detractors citing fears that the app could mask covert Chinese surveillance activity.
After Montana passed its landmark bill, many believed that would kickstart a domino effect that would see the end of TikTok in the US. However, much to the relief of affiliates, brands, and content creators who rely on the app, this didn’t transpire.
Outside of the US, TikTok is continuing to come under fire, with EU officials advising that all governments ban the use of the app on official devices.
A report published in Australia has laid bare the risks posed by TikTok, as well as the Chinese social media app WeChat. In response, Australian authorities have proposed new regulations that would demand foreign-owned apps take steps to adhere to local data privacy laws. The proposition also recommends that TikTok, which is already banned on Australian government official devices, should also be banned on the devices of government contractors.
Meanwhile, Senegal has taken steps to ban the app, with authorities maintaining that TikTok is used to spread anti-government messages and inappropriate content. While the fears of the Senegalese government aren’t concerned with data malpractice, they are still indicative of an ongoing attitude shift towards TikTok that is making the app’s long-term viability look increasingly perilous.
What does all this mean for affiliate marketers and influencers on TikTok? Despite the negative publicity, TikTok is booming and is forecast to reach 900 million users in 2024. TikTok remains one of the most important tools at any digital marketer’s disposal, it can be used to craft compelling content and reach huge audiences.
However, the threat of a wider ban in Western countries still exists. This means that affiliates and content creators must have contingency plans in place. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, as the old adage goes. Ensure you maintain a presence on other social platforms in case TikTok is suddenly out of the picture. This way, you won’t lose access to your entire customer base, and you’ll be able to mitigate the damage to your business.