TikTok Ban: What Happens Next?


It’s been 13 days since President Joe Biden signed the bill passed by both the House and Senate that pertains to the infamous “TikTok Ban.” Do we think there’s a world where Americans aren’t using TikTok? Not likely, but social platforms evolve. That’s the nature of the social media business. So whether TikTok goes away or goes through a reinvention, brands that will win will continue to ask curious questions and think strategically about future-proofing how the brand shows up on social media. 

3 things to know as you discuss the impact TikTok has had on the evolution of social media: 

1. Social-first video remains the internet’s center of gravity.

TikTok has made its mark on what we expect from video content today and how we interact with it. The platform has taught us a lot about what audiences have an appetite for – short-form, collaborative, easily searchable content – and that won’t change. Knowing that both creators and brands are already sharing TikTok-esque videos on other platforms (Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts), regardless of the outcome, we know there will be a continued opportunity for videos inspired by creators and community.

2. We’ve now all been trained to search, not just scroll.

Beyond video, TikTok has impacted the way people search online. It has proven that Gen Z is willing to use social as a primary search engine. TikTok has become the go-to source of Internet info and whether or not TikTok continues to exist, we can expect these behaviors will persist on other social media platforms.

3. Convert 3rd party data to 1st party data.

We get it, you don’t want to lose what you’ve built on TikTok. Whether you’ve racked up millions of views, sparked thousands of comments, or sold out popular items, there’s data within the platform that you’ll want to retrieve for safekeeping. Do what you can to pull quantitative and qualitative data regularly so that if the day comes when the app doesn’t open, you’ve documented and ingested the learnings to carry over your content and community insights to inform your approach on other platforms.

How should you think longer term?

As you look to 2025+ and a world without TikTok (highly hypothetical), cultivating community could mean creatively and strategically ushering fans from one platform to another. The unique value that you bring to your social followers will still ring true. Doubling down on unique brand + audience truths (regardless of platform or content type) will always resonate with your community. As of May 7th, 2024, TikTok has already filed a lawsuit with the US Government, claiming the TikTok ban is unconstitutional. It could take several years before this matter is fully settled in court, so there’s no reason to panic!

Want to act now?

Revisit your Instagram Reels strategy and extend your TikTok creative energy and resources to YouTube Shorts to start experimenting. 

As a strategic social media partner, we keep a close eye on this topic as it develops at the speed of social. Want to stay in the know? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter. Want to work with us? Get connected with our Growth Team HERE.

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Background on The Social Lights
The Social Lights® is a social-first agency headquartered in Minneapolis that partners with clients to grow their business through strategy development, creative production, media buying, and social media management. Current clients include General Mills, Ecolab, Cargill, Caribou Coffee, Kwik Trip, Polaris and Massage Envy. The Social Lights was founded in 2011 and is a WBENC-Certified Women Business Enterprise. Learn more at The Social Lights.

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