Hope your week has been cool and pleasant! For this week’s dispatch, we hand the mic to Milly Sauber, our Media Director, for her latest thoughts!
Media Director, Milly here with a quick recap of the absolute reality show that is social media this week.
TikTok v. The U.S. v. Facebook
If you have a bunch of money in your media bucket set aside for TikTok in 2021, it’s time to have a Plan B. We may be looking down the barrel of banning one of this year’s top social media apps, TikTok, from use in the United States.
TikTok has over 26 million American users, and has been a staple app for Gen Z’ers since 2018. And despite it primarily being used for goofy videos and challenges, it’s also been an app that makes it easier than ever to share political information. From positive movements like BLM, to conspiracy theories like QAnon.
So, like any other social media platform out there, it’s either spreading the good word, spreading misinformation or it’s just full of trash. Pretty typical.
However, TikTok’s parent company is called ByteDance, and is HQ’d in China. As tensions between the U.S. and China rise, we’ve seen political leaders clamp down on TikTok on both sides. Trump is getting ready to ban the app, and Biden has instructed his staffers to stay away from the app over privacy concerns.
The U.S. has been primarily worried about TikTok’s approach to privacy and censorship, which stem from a few different situations. A couple of examples are the huge Equifax breach last year, and the other being TikTok’s alleged removal of videos considered sensitive by the Chinese government.
Experts are back and forth on whether or not we should ban TikTok citing a National Security Threat. Some say there are causes for concern based on the CCP’s previous actions, and others say China would be in bad shape if they relied on TikTok to gather information from Americans.
As TikTok faces an unforeseen future, Facebook as always, has capitalized on an opportunity, and will be launching “Instagram Reels”. Basically a Facebook version of TikTok.
This situation is wild, and this cute lil’ Dispatch barely scratches the surface of this issue. As always, I encourage you to do your research and stay on your toes when it comes to your media mix in 2021. And probably set aside some dollars next year for Instagram Reels (lol).