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TikTok’s US Ban: Essential Insights and What’s Next for Creators

TikTok’s US Ban: Essential Insights and What’s Next for Creators

May 2, 2024
11 min
Allan Martyr
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Allan Martyr
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On April 24, 2024, President Joe Biden signed a bill into law that could ban TikTok. This has sparked conversations about how it could impact creators and new businesses. Despite this, many people in the industry are okay with the possible disruption.

This could be because they have experienced similar situations in the past. There have been threats of bans and changes within the creator community before. This experience might be why they seem calm about the TikTok ban news.

Analyzing the TikTok Ban: Effects and Implications

President Joe Biden signed the landmark Bill named "Peace Through Strength Act," which directly targets the popular video-sharing platform TikTok, owned by the Chinese company ByteDance.

This critical legislation, commonly called the "TikTok Ban Bill," mandates that ByteDance must divest TikTok. This requirement stems from growing concerns over national security and the integrity of personal data held by the app.

Now, questions seem to come from users and stakeholders asking, "Is TikTok going to be banned?" and, "When is TikTok getting deleted?" Currently, TikTok will be here to stay; however, the company is on a tight schedule to divest, or else it risks expulsion from the major U.S. app stores, including Apple's App Store and Google Play.

The US government can block the App Store and Google Play Store from offering ByteDance's apps if ByteDance doesn't follow the rules.

TikTok Ban Mechanics: How Does It Work?

In a significant move, President Biden signs the Peace Through Strength Act, changing the landscape for TikTok content distribution. Although the law does not directly ban TikTok, it targets companies that support ByteDance and imposes civil penalties.

The focus is not on individual users but on tech giants like Apple, Google, Comcast, and Verizon. They may face fines for promoting the spread of TikTok, up to $5,000 per user.

With over 100 million US users, cumulative fines could reach billions of dollars and pose challenges for content creators. This shift could lead them to explore alternative ways to repurpose old videos.

The bill would require ByteDance to allow users to export all their content, including images, videos, and text. According to a Reddit thread, if ByteDance fails to implement this feature, it faces a civil liability of $500 per person. This provision ensures users can keep their content if TikTok is banned or divested.

User, Legal and Political Reactions:

User’s Response:

Although some creators and startup executives expressed concerns about a possible TikTok ban, others showed little worry and suggested they had time to prepare. Eric Wei, co-founder and co-CEO of Karat Financial, noted: "Two years ago, this would have been a major blow. Now…not so much."

This reaction reflects a shift in the video content creator economy, which is less dependent on TikTok than before.

James Jones, CEO of Bump, observed that the creator community has become more skilled at finding multiple income streams. He pointed to the end of Vine as an example of how platforms can influence the industry. He remarked, "The TikTok ban will undoubtedly cause a ripple effect among creators. However, they're becoming more adept at diversifying their revenue sources across different platforms."


Digital media expert Kai Watson emphasized the need for creators to diversify in his LinkedIn post, saying, "Creators are diversifying their audiences by syndicating their existing content archives to platforms such as hashtag#YouTube Shorts and hashtag#Instagram Reels. They're then packaging brand integrations to include syndication to increase rates."

Duolingo's Zaria Parvez commented on LinkedIn that the spirit of virality will persist even if TikTok is banned.

ByteDance's Stance:

ByteDance, the company behind TikTok, has said it has no intention of selling TikTok despite the Senate passing a new bill that would require the company to either divest its ownership within 12 months or face a possible ban in the US.

The company has reiterated: “ByteDance has no plans to sell TikTok.

In a video shared on TikTok, CEO Shou Zi Chew expressed confidence in their legal standing, stating, "Rest assured, we aren't going anywhere. The facts and the Constitution are on our side, and we expect to prevail again."

He also mentioned that TikTok expects to defend itself again successfully. This refers to a recent incident in which a federal judge overturned a November attempted ban in Montana.

Despite reports that ByteDance might consider selling TikTok without its algorithm, the company has indicated it would rather shut down the app than sell.

Political Perspectives:

The ban highlights deeper concerns among US lawmakers about how foreign powers could abuse apps like TikTok. 

Senator Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, stressed, "Why did Joe Biden ban TikTok?" and said that giving the Chinese Communist Party "a propaganda tool" and access to American users' data constitutes "a national security risk."

Institutional Opinions:

Amid the debate over the TikTok ban, voices like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) argue against the government's justifications and raise concerns about possible First Amendment violations.

The crux of the matter revolves around whether the legislation interferes with the content on TikTok, which requires strict scrutiny. Elettra Bietti, a distinguished assistant professor of law and computer science at Northeastern University, predicts that TikTok's lawsuit will revolve around its broader implications for free speech rights.

Challenges for Certain Creators

Despite the evolving nature of the creator economy, the ban might hit some groups harder than others. TikTok livestreamers and creators who rely on TikTok Shop could find it challenging to move to other platforms, as they may offer different features. 

Additionally, political content creators could need help as platforms like Instagram Reels have begun limiting the reach of political content.

A Reddit thread mentioned broader issues with TikTok, such as frequent account removals and shadow banning. These issues highlight why it's risky for creators to focus exclusively on one platform.

💡Related read: How vidyo.ai Helps Podcast Host Repurpose His Video Content in <1 Hour


How to Prepare for the TikTok Ban?


An e-commerce executive, Rishabh Jain, commented on LinkedIn that India's ban on TikTok has shown that creators can still thrive by switching to other platforms.

Here is how you can prepare for the possible tiktok ban:

1. Diversify Your Content Strategy
2. Reserve Usernames on Major Platforms
3. Backup Your TikTok Content
4. Establish Alternative Contact Points
5. Protect Your Business Partnerships

With the recent legislation that could result in a TikTok ban, creators and brands face uncertainty. Navigating this changing landscape requires strategic actions to maintain a robust online presence, connect with audiences, and ensure content continuity. Here are some critical steps to consider.

1. Diversify Your Content Strategy

With a tool like vidyo.ai, creators can plan for content diversification, ensuring they remain relevant even if TikTok is banned. The ability to transform and reformat videos helps maintain a consistent brand presence across multiple platforms, including Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, YouTube, LinkedIn, TikTok, and Facebook Reels. This adaptability is critical when facing uncertain conditions in the social media landscape.

2. Reserve Usernames on Major Platforms

To ensure a smooth transition, it's essential to reserve usernames on significant platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. This prevents impersonation and makes it easier for your followers to find you. vidyo.ai's Brand Kit allows you to customize your videos with brand-specific elements, ensuring a consistent platform identity.

3. Backup Your TikTok Content

Given the uncertainty surrounding TikTok's future, it's crucial to back up your existing content. This step ensures that you retain valuable videos, images, or text even if the platform is banned or unavailable. A backup allows you to repurpose content for other platforms and maintain a consistent brand image.

4. Establish Alternative Contact Points

In the event of a TikTok ban, it's vital to provide your followers with alternative ways to connect with you. Update your TikTok bio with links to other social media profiles, websites, or email addresses. This way, you can direct your audience to where you plan to be most active, ensuring they can stay in touch with you even if TikTok is no longer accessible.

5. Protect Your Business Partnerships

For brands and creators, the possibility of a TikTok ban raises questions about existing partnership agreements. To safeguard your business interests, consider adding a clause to your contracts that addresses what happens if TikTok becomes unavailable. This can help ensure a smooth transition to other platforms or allow you to modify the agreement if necessary.

💡Related read: Diversify Your Content With Viddy, Our AI Content Assistant

Who are the Potential Buyers for TikTok?

There has been a lot of speculation about potential buyers for TikTok, from tech giants to investment firms.

However, the latest regulation sheds light on TikTok's ownership structure. It does not have to be owned by a US company. Instead, it is about avoiding the influence of certain countries such as China, Iran, or North Korea.

Imagine this scenario: TikTok could thrive even if a Canadian company stepped in. But here's the catch: Ultimately, the US President holds the cards regarding this decision.

TikTok's Existing Bans and Restrictions

In the United States, the concerns over TikTok's data privacy and potential for foreign influence have led to a series of bans, primarily on government-issued devices across various branches of the federal government and some state-level restrictions.

Here is a detailed look at the specific actions taken:

1. Federal Government Bans:

Military: The US Armed Forces were among the first to prohibit TikTok on government-issued devices, citing national security risks.

Department of Homeland Security: This US department also banned TikTok from its devices to protect operational integrity.

State Department: Similar to other branches, the State Department banned TikTok to safeguard sensitive information.

Congress: In late 2020, Congress passed legislation that included a provision banning TikTok from all federal government devices.

2. State-Level Bans:

Several states have independently taken action against TikTok, especially concerning devices issued to state employees. States like Texas, Alabama, and Oklahoma have implemented bans, primarily driven by concerns over privacy and the potential for foreign surveillance and influence.

Texas: Governor Greg Abbott ordered state agencies to ban TikTok from government-issued devices, emphasizing the risk of exposing sensitive state information to foreign entities.

Wisconsin: The state followed suit with similar motivations, focusing on protecting the privacy of state employees and residents.

TikTok already faces bans in several countries and from government-issued devices in others due to concerns about privacy and cybersecurity risks.

Here are some notable international TikTok ban examples:

India: TikTok was banned in India in June 2020, along with several other Chinese apps, citing national security concerns after a border clash between India and China.

Canada: In February 2023, the Canadian government banned TikTok from all government-issued mobile devices. The decision was made based on the advice of Canada's Chief Information Officer, who cited an "unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security" from using the app.

Mainland China: TikTok is also unavailable in mainland China, where ByteDance offers Douyin, a similar app subject to strict censorship.

Hong Kong: TikTok ceased operations in Hong Kong after China enacted a national security law.

Australia: Australia banned TikTok from government devices in March 2023.

Taiwan: Taiwan banned TikTok from all government devices in early 2023, also citing security concerns.

EU Institutions: The European Parliament, European Commission, and the European Council have banned TikTok from staff devices as a cybersecurity measure.

💡Related read: Here’s How Repurposing Can Boost Your Marketing Efforts

Additional Tips For The Creators

In times of uncertainty, adapting quickly and repurposing existing content is crucial for creators and brands. If TikTok becomes unavailable, having an efficient system for repurposing content can make all the difference in maintaining visibility across platforms like Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, and others. This is where a service like vidyo.ai can be invaluable.


It allows creators to automate video content editing end-to-end, streamlining the transition from one platform to another. Using it, you can effortlessly convert longer TikTok videos into shorter segments for other platforms, ensuring your content continues engaging audiences without extensive manual editing.

Key Takeaways

On Toutiao, ByteDance shared a screenshot of a headline from The Information, a publication focused on technology and business, indicating that ByteDance was considering selling TikTok without its algorithm.

If TikTok decides to challenge the new legislation legally, the nine-month deadline for ByteDance to find a buyer will pause, and the case will move to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. 

Given the potential TikTok ban, creators and brands must proactively diversify their content strategy and explore alternative platforms. vidyo.ai offers a comprehensive suite of tools to help you navigate this uncertain landscape, from AI-powered video editing to seamless social media integration.

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