As TikTok Teeters, These 3 Social Networks Are Ready to Pounce
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In the Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing, my co-authors and I talk about TikTok and about its growing trouble with government agencies, particularly in the United States, as of early 2020. We also said that by the time you read this, TikTok may not be available in the U.S. any longer. Despite the best efforts of the Trump administration, TikTok is still available for anyone in the U.S. to download.
Consider recent TikTok headlines that have come rapid-fire….
- TikTok has been the subject of takeover talks by Microsoft and Oracle.
- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been accused of unfairly influencing the Trump administration to ban TikTok. At the same time, Facebook introduced its own TikTok competitor, Instagram Reels, and they’re testing a short video feature in the Facebook mobile app.
- TikTok has announced that it’s going to sue the Trump administration in response to President Trump’s executive order on August 6, 2020 that requires TikTok’s owner, ByteDance, divest its TikTok operations in the U.S. TikTok claims the executive order deprives the company of its right to due process.
All of this is tied to increasing friction between the United States and China over what the U.S. says is a national security threat from the Chinese government. The U.S. government claims TikTok is being used to acquire user data surreptitiously and continuously from its users and send that data to the Chinese government. ByteDance is headquartered in Beijing.
TikTok has also come under fire from the government of India, which recently banned TikTok and other Chinese apps after border clashes and souring relations with China.
TikTok now has three well-established social networks trying to capitalize on TikTok’s troubles — and peel off TikTok users. Here’s what those platforms have introduced recently that allow you to create short videos and share them with others.
Snapchat is an old pro when it comes to creating short videos. On August 3, the platform announced that it would allow its users to set short videos to music from what the company says will be a “robust” catalog of music. That catalog includes Warner Music Group, Universal Music Publishing Group and several others that have licensed their music to Snapchat.
Users can add music to their videos before or after they capture their video. Recipients can swipe up to view song information as well as tap the "Play This Song" link to play the full song on their preferred streaming music app.
As we mentioned earlier in this article, Facebook introduced Instagram Reels in November 2019 as a direct competitor to TikTok, launching the feature in Brazil and gradually rolling it out to new markets, most recently in North America and the United Kingdom in August.
Instagram makes it easy to access Reels from the app’s feed screen by swiping to the right and then tapping "Reels" at the bottom of the screen. Then you can
My co-author, Jenn Herman, has an in-depth article about Instagram Reels on her Jenn’s Trends blog. She’ll tell you what you need to know about it, why she hates it (in its current form) and how to decide if Reels is right for your business.
Facebook is going after TikTok with a one-two punch that not only includes Instagram Reels, but has also introduced a new Short Videos function in India.
Facebook has more than 300 million users in India, which surpasses TikTok’s 200 million, so Facebook is taking advantage of TikTok’s absence in the country to defeat a rival and grab even more market share.
User reports state that you can upload video up to 26 seconds long. If your video is longer, you can trim the video manually within Facebook. You can also write custom text on your video, but there is no word about adding music. Yet.
There are also plenty of other TikTok competitors including Byte, which is the successor to Vine (remember them?), as well as Dubsmash, Likee, and Triller. Even YouTube is testing a new feature for recording short videos on its mobile platform.
If you feel the need to share short videos with your audience, and you don’t want to be involved in the TikTok drama, check out these other social networks to see if any of them is right for you.
Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing by Eric Butow, Jenn Herman, Stephanie Liu, Amanda Robinson and Mike Allton is available now via Entrepreneur Press. Order from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books.