As the Chinese-owned video app experiences bans from various governments and media publications worldwide, alongside threats of nationwide bans on the horizon, the future of TikTok is uncertain to say the least.
Domains and hosting provider Fasthosts have investigated Google Trend data to see how searches surrounding the app have changed since the bans were introduced in the last month.
“Why is TikTok banned?”
The term that has seen the highest increase in searches in the past month is “is TikTok banned?”, seeing an increase of 488% when compared to the same period last month, with “TikTok ban” following closely behind with a rise of 456%.
Searches for “why is TikTok banned?” have jumped by 130%, with people turning to Google to try and clear up confusion between the conflicting opinions. While a smaller increase compared to the previous two terms, it does imply users are more concerned with the ban occurring and how it will affect their use of the app rather than the hows and whys of the bans occurring in the first place.
Searches for “TikTok security” have risen by 32%, as users try to investigate the issues themselves. Concerns around data collection and privacy have been the main factor in the bans coming into force, and even though these concerns have been disputed by the Chief Executive of TikTok as well as the Bytedance-owned app ordered a refresh of their community guidelines, privacy fears have not been quelled yet.
“Get rid of TikTok”
“Delete TikTok” rose by 18%, while searches for “delete TikTok account” have increased by 32% – which is not insignificant, considering the 5.2 million average searches for TikTok-related queries every month.
The highest increase for searches in this vein is “get rid of TikTok”, which has jumped by 111% since last month. Searching for this term presents you with endless guides telling you how to and why you should delete your account and the app.
It will certainly be interesting to see how TikTok’s user numbers are affected and if what these search increases would seem to suggest is true.
TikTok is one of the largest entertainment apps available and remained the most downloaded app of 2022 – so the social media platform won’t see its downfall from these searches alone. But the searches suggest an increasingly concerned user base who are being presented with a plethora of other options to turn to. That being said, all it takes is a nationwide ban from a country like the USA to cause other governments to strongly consider following suit.
As for the creators that monetise on the platform, LTK’s Founder, Amber Venz Box, said in an interview with Fox Business Live: “Platforms come and go … although this might be the first time one has been shut down from government action, creators are resilient … there will be an opportunity for them with or without the platform”.
Only time will tell if the time’s up for TikTok.