What a time to be alive. It feels like the universe is consistently in retrograde and now one of our worst fears is potentially coming true – the ban of TikTok (well..maybe 🤷‍♀️)

TikTok has become the “Creator’s Platform” with over 2 billion downloads in the month of May. It’s adopted by Gen Z primarily, but enjoyed by all – for hours at a time (if I do say so myself)! The popular app is generally known for hosting short videos where creators lip sync or dance to viral audio clips and trends. Owned by Chinese company, ByteDance, the app’s videos and UX journey has made it super popular, and tech giants like Facebook and Snapchat see it as a competitive threat.

So how did this seemingly harmless app get the attention of US President Trump and why are we suddenly hearing that tech giant Microsoft will acquire the app as the US considers banning it? Lock yourselves in 🚀

In recent days, President Trump has addressed the topic of banning TikTok from the US, sending the entire nation into meltdown. Tensions have broiled over in Washington and officials are increasingly concerned that the Chinese government could get access to information about Americans who use TikTok because of the app’s ownership. Interestingly, TikTok has taken steps to paint itself as an American brand by hiring Kevin Mayer, who used to work at Disney, to be its chief executive in May. Additionally, in a previous statement, a TikTok spokeswoman also noted that it stores its data in the United States and has “strict controls on employee access” to the information.

Cue the entrance of tech giants to add fuel to this already juicy flame 🔥

In an article released today, AdNews confirmed that Microsoft is looking to acquire TikTok in the wake of shut-down talks recently. This would include operations in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. In a statement directly from Microsoft, they state that “Microsoft will move quickly to pursue discussions with TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, in a matter of weeks, and in any event completing these discussions no later than September 15, 2020. During this process, Microsoft looks forward to continuing dialogue with the United States Government, including with the President”.

Plot twist: 

Just when you think the story couldn’t get any juicer – Instagram Reels is coming! 

“What’s Reels”, you ask? It’s Facebook’s competitor to TikTok and it’s already being tested in the US and several other countries.

Reels is a new format for Instagram Stories that allows users to create and share short-form video content on the Explore page and with followers.

The main differences according to Business Insider are video length (Instagram maintaining best practice with 10-15 second videos) and the question remains around licensing and partnerships on what music can be held on the platform. 

Instagram has already started reaching out to influencers in the lead up to the launch to solidify partnership content and assist in the rollout of the platform feature.

Talk about a rivalry! 💥

It’s a lot to take in, but we’ll keep you updated on the latest TikTok news – watch this space. 

For any other questions, drop us a line here! We’re always up for a conversation on all things social.

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Kristy is a compassionate, fearless team lead, obsessed with the art of baking. With experience in fashion and interior design, she loves the ocean and will never say no to a good bowl of pasta.