After the app has been banned on government devices and some college campuses, the Biden Administration threatened a nationwide ban if ByteDance, the China-based company that owns TikTok, doesn’t sell its stakes in the platform.
If the app does get banned, it could have major repercussions for marketers who have invested heavily in the platform over the last three years.
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Though overall social ad spend is trending downward due to economic uncertainty, TikTok saw a 20% increase in ad spend during the first three quarters of 2022 with some agencies reporting that 25% of their social spend is dedicated to TikTok ads alone.
While many companies are continuing to invest ad dollars in more established platforms, TikTok has untapped potential to reach new audiences that aren’t on other platforms. In January 2023 TikTok reached 850 million global users, though 40% of TikTok users aren’t on Facebook, and 63% aren’t on Twitter.
Some agencies and brands are pulling back their TikTok advertising spend to see how things shake out, while others are continuing to invest to continue getting reach on the platform while they still can.
In the meantime, TikTok is trying to ease the concerns of advertisers to keep the ad dollars rolling in.
It’s worth noting that advertising reach isn’t the only concern marketers have when it comes to a TikTok ban.
The app has been fruitful for organic marketing plays and viral moments, both of which could be limited if marketers are relying solely on platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, which limit organic reach to an account’s followers.
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