Home Tech The economy of TikTok creators looks into the abyss

The economy of TikTok creators looks into the abyss

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The economy of TikTok creators looks into the abyss

The US Senate passed a bill Tuesday night that allows the government to ban TikTok within a year if it fails to make significant progress toward separating from its China-based owner, ByteDance. President Joe Biden said in a statement after the vote that he would sign it into law on Wednesday.

The version of TikTok affected by the legislation is not the same platform that then-President Donald Trump first sought to abolish in 2020, citing national security concerns over its ties to China. TikTok, its user base, and the ecosystem of creators who make a living from the platform have grown, transformed, and matured since then. And the potential consequences of the app’s demise have become more significant.

TikTok’s US user base is too old There are more alternative places to post short videos than a few years ago, and many longtime influencers say they feel jaded after spending so much time trying to fight critics of the app in Washington. But the number of Americans financially dependent on TikTok has also grown, including a new class of creators with fewer followers who make a living from e-commerce-focused videos.

Hours before the Senate passed the bill targeting TikTok late Tuesday, creators and others working in the influencer industry told WIRED that its passage would threaten the incomes of at least tens of thousands of people. in the US and would leave them outraged.

“This is my livelihood, this is how I’m going to feed my kid, this is how a lot of people feed their kids,” said a Pennsylvania-based TikTok creator named Aubrey who posts under the name Makeupfresh. Aubrey, who asked to use only her first name for privacy reasons, said she and other creators she knows plan to vote against lawmakers who supported banning TikTok in the November general election.

James Nord, founder of influencer marketing platform Fohr, said TikTok’s demise would be an “extinction-level event” for many creators. “Most of them don’t have sustainable followers on other platforms,” ​​he said. “And they won’t be able to migrate their followers to Instagram.”

Tuesday’s vote was pushed by House lawmakers over the weekend, when they overwhelmingly approved a $95 billion foreign aid package that also includes measures targeting TikTok. The bill provides funding for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan and was fast-tracked after Iran’s retaliatory attack on Israel last week. It passed the Senate on Tuesday with bipartisan support, 79 to 18, but is likely to face significant legal challenges, including from TikTok, according to a report from Information.

TikTok did not respond to a request for comment. in a statement told Reuters on Saturday, the company accused elected officials of “using the cover of important foreign and humanitarian assistance to once again stymie a ban bill that would trample on the free speech rights of 170 million Americans.”

Prasuna Cheruku, founder of influencer management agency Diversifi Talent, said some of the veteran creators she works with didn’t believe the ban would actually pass, but that political drama and the evolution of TikTok have made some of them they become disillusioned the application.

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