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Bracing For Post-TikTok Social 20 Industry Voices Discuss Creators' And Users' Next Destinations


Bracing For Post-TikTok Social: 20 Industry Voices Discuss Creators’ And Users’ Next Destinations

President Biden has escalated the pressure on TikTok by signing a law that gives its Chinese parent company ByteDance up to a year to fully divest its ownership stake in the popular video app or face a nationwide ban. This bipartisan measure, which passed Congress last week, ramps up efforts to address perceived national security risks posed by the platform’s Chinese connections.

The move intensifies the long-running saga over TikTok’s status in the U.S., which has sparked concerns about data privacy and censorship from both Republican and Democratic lawmakers.

The new law gives the Biden administration powerful leverage to force a sale of TikTok’s U.S. operations, with a ban looming if ByteDance fails to comply within the given timeframe.

As the industry grapples with this latest development, we’ve gathered insights from key players across the creator economy to assess its potential ramifications. Top executives, influencers, and analysts have weighed in on where audiences and creators may migrate if TikTok faces an actual ban in the U.S.

Andy Cloyd, Co-founder and CEO of Superfiliate  

At the end of the day, professional Creators will go where they can make the most money, and, in most instances, that is going to be where the eyeballs are. Where creators go will also be content dependent, Reels/Shorts is a very natural next place to go for TikTokers given the similarities in content formats and content distribution methods those platforms use (algorithmic rather than feed based). 

India showed us that a platform ban certainly doesn’t stop creators nor consumers, and they’ll ultimately find each other, particularly given the habit has been formed and its clear there is an audience (and business) for TikTok style content.

Where audiences will go: I don’t think its likely they migrate to net new platform forms here. The network effects of these platforms are unbelievably strong, and the only reason TikTok busted through is because it was a net new content distribution model. Now, IG and Shorts have simply copied that format. In the absence of a true innovation, the incumbents with existing audiences and network effects will win.

Of course, platforms like X and Discord will also benefit as some creators will double down on those channels and they may grow to support similar formats, but I see the true value aggregating to IG/Shorts

Anders Bill Co-founder and CPO of Superfiliate  

I think TikTok is WAY too valuable of an asset to be banned, divestiture or it getting overridden in the appeals process is the most likely in my opinion here. This will be a very interesting test between our executive and legislative branches. While in parallel there will be many many bidders in the back rooms of Washington DC looking to get their hands on TikTok as an asset. If it’s banned totally I think there will be enormous uproar, more time will be spent in Reels but I think there would be a groundswell that would pressure congress to agree to some divestiture. 

I don’t think it will be [banned] but I would guess Reels as their algorithm has continued to mirror more of the TikTok For You page over time but the TikTok algorithm has proven to be unique in many ways here. 

Hannah Williams CEO, Founder of Salary Transparent Street 

Smart creators will have already begun cross-posting to other popular social platforms, mainly Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Snapchat. X (Twitter) is dead and not recommended, not just because monetization opportunities are unclear and not lucrative, but also because advertisers aren’t interested in posting there. There are tons of existing (and up-and-coming) platforms for different niches and styles of content (like Twitch for gamers) that will fill TikTok’s void. The biggest concern we should have isn’t what will happen to content and creators, but the dangerous precedent that this ban will place on our constitutional rights as American citizens.

Most social platforms were built to meet one need, like YouTube for long-form videos and Instagram for pictures. Over the past few years, however, we’ve seen platforms develop new features to make them multidimensional (like 10-minute videos on TikTok and Reels on Instagram). Many creators start and remain most active on one platform that best meets their style, but as platforms become multidimensional, creators will need to invest more time and effort in growing communities across multiple platforms, instead of relying on just one. 

Emily Blair Marcus, CEO & Founder of Emily Blair Media

We’ve seen a massive resurgence in YouTube over the past few years. There’s a gravitational pull toward long-form content, which is why podcasting has continued to soar post-pandemic, coupled with the video component, which platforms like Spotify have been adopting for their top performing shows. Video streaming vs. solely audio streaming allows for more engagement and cross promotion across other outlets (ex. Instagram), which is helpful for maximizing impact. 

I also think Snapchat will continue to be enticing to creators, given their attractive models for incentivizing users to post and interact on the platform. 

The renewed interest in YouTube comes with the increased theme of nostalgia that has persisted throughout our cultural zeitgeist, impacting music, fashion, and various other industries. YouTube has also done a great job at catering to the evolving needs of their Gen-Z skewing users, with the introduction of Shorts and Partner Programs.

Britt St. George, Co-founder of SMITH&SAINT

While I think the process of “banning” TikTok will be extremely long and drawn out, with many legal hoops to jump through before a full ban would ever come into play, it’s a scenario worthy of consideration for a creator, as any app, any day, could go away. I think how individuals consume and use social media is largely dependent upon their age and demographics, more so than any other factor.

While younger audiences within Gen Z may replace what they had been consuming through TikTok with Snap (an app also known for more raw, in the moment content that’s favored by younger audiences) and YouTube, change-averse Millennials will begrudgingly go back to Instagram, after it took them a while to adopt TikTok in the first place.

I think creators, specifically, will look to settle down in the channels that bring them the most stability; places like Instagram and YouTube—places they know will not be going anywhere anytime soon. Beyond that, I think creators will also look to channels that place as much value on them as TikTok does through its creator rewards programs, as they will need to replace revenue. Snap’s creator incentive program is especially lucrative for high-performers, and could be a great hook for new creators to direct their efforts to Snap-specific content. 

If a full ban does occur, there will be a windfall for other apps, as over 150 million American users are currently on the TikTok platform. It will be an important conversation to follow, as we see in real time how ideals like free speech and national security interplay in the space of social media.  

Sarah Boyd, Co-CEO of The Digital Dept.

Should a TikTok ban be enforced in the United States, we envision the majority of creators will focus on creating video content on Instagram Reels and YouTube. Those are already the two most popular video platforms for content creation aside from TikTok. They are two platforms where creators know how to monetize while continuing to build and foster their online communities. And while many platforms, including TikTok, have risen up in popularity, Instagram and YouTube have remained popular throughout.

Instagram remains an essential platform for content creators and brands alike in the paid partnerships space, so we foresee creators investing even more time into building up Instagram as their primary platform should TikTok no longer be an option. Instagram allows creators to share short-form video content along with other content types like photos and stories, providing a variety of ways to share content within one single platform. It also allows for easy link-sharing through Stories, DMs, and profiles, which is huge for brands looking to drive website visits and sales conversions through their social media marketing.

YouTube, as a place for both long-form video content and short-form with their YouTube Shorts platform, will continue to serve as an additional platform to share video content for creators’ most invested fans. Again, YouTube has monetization opportunities (like AdSense) for creators that incentivize spending time on the platform. It also remains the top destination for viewers looking for long-form video content.

We also predict that content creators might expand into newsletter platforms like Substack where they are able to share their thoughts with their most dedicated followers and monetize through subscriptions. With the reminder that social media platforms can be fickle, we are seeing a lot of creators invest in platforms where they can own their work and build up an invested audience. 

Kate Andreeva, Head of Talent Relations at HypeFactory

Depending on the category in which the creator operates, such as lifestyle, entertainment, gaming, beauty, and more, they may migrate to different platforms based on their original purpose. For instance, the gaming community tends to gather on Discord, while Instagram attracts a large number of lifestyle influencers.

Among platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and Discord, YouTube is particularly well-positioned to benefit from this situation. Creators can start making YouTube shorts, which are currently prioritized by the algorithm and easier to get views on. Choosing YouTube Shorts would be more affordable, faster, and more effective for creators, as it offers the same short video functions as TikTok and is highly favored by the algorithms.

The choice of platform may also depend on where the creator already has a backup account and has already gathered some of their audience. This way, they can switch platforms with less difficulty.

I also believe that Snapchat may interest many creators. The platform has been rapidly growing, surpassing 800 million monthly active users in February 2024. It is actively developing and has introduced features like Snapchat+ for brands, unique AR filters not found on other platforms, and AI innovations like My AI chatbot, which can answer questions, offer advice, help plan trips, and suggest dinner ideas.

As previously mentioned, the choice of platform depends on where the audience is already active. For example, transitioning to YouTube Shorts would be relatively smooth and more likely to attract an audience. This is because the tools on this platform are similar to TikTok, and it has a strong algorithm and comparable requirements for content quality in terms of images.

Snapchat stands out with its exceptional augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) features, which are not available on any other platform.

Chris Orzechowski, Owner of Orzy Media, a copywriting agency for DTC brands.

I think a lot of users will move to Instagram and X. Possibly Youtube as well.

X is making a big push to be competitive in the video space. They realize that video is key. They’re also investing a lot in growing the platform and incentivizing creators with monetary rewards, so I could see them benefiting in the long run.

Paul Boulet,  Founder at Click Analytic a Creator Search Tool with +300M creators.

If TikTok does get banned, which I’m not certain will happen or might last only a few months, Instagram is likely to benefit the most. However, we shouldn’t overlook YouTube, as YouTube Shorts are becoming increasingly popular. While Snapchat is popular in the Middle East and Europe, it doesn’t have the same level of popularity in the US.

I believe IG Reels are the most similar format to TikTok videos, though TikTok’s algorithm is far more powerful. TikTok excels at presenting a wide range of topics tailored to your interests, which I don’t find on Instagram. Additionally, the reach on TikTok is significantly greater.

Many brands are finding success with TikTok Shop via affiliate channels. It will be interesting to see if they eventually shift towards platforms like Amazon.

Mike Kruzich, Content Creator and Strategist,

I believe they [audiences and creators] will go to YouTube. TikTok has always seen YouTube as their #1 threat. They’ve always tried to mimic YouTube as well when it comes to how they treat creators & how they are focused on video.

Instagram would be #2 in my opinion but at the end of the day Instagram is a copycat app that releases features after they get popular on another app. Instagram also doesn’t have a clear monetization program so creators have no financial incentive to make the app their #1 choice. 

In my opinion, the platform that puts creators first will win in the long run.. and YouTube is a clear winner there with their 50% revenue share. No other platform puts it in writing the percentage you’re going to get. Instagram and TikTok come out with programs where people make tons of money in the first few months but then one day creators wake up to getting way less pay pay for the same views. It’s a clear bait and switch they’ve done for the last couple years and creators are tired of it.

Another thing to note is I have tried to push my TikTok followers to my Instagram & I was shocked to discover the vast majority did not even have an Instagram account. On the contrary, I never had one of my followers say they don’t have a YouTube. That right there tells you where they will migrate if the TikTok ban goes through.

My opinion is that this whole TikTok ban is just a money grab by lobbyists to force TikTok to sell to an American company.

Ernest Sturm, CEO of Runway Influence

 If TikTok were to be banned in the US, I believe many creators and their audiences would likely migrate to platforms like YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels, and Snapchat Spotlight. These platforms have been enhancing their capabilities for short-form content, making them natural alternatives for the TikTok community. Also, platforms like X  and Discord could see a rise in popularity, particularly among creators who prioritize community engagement and direct interactions with their audience.

The migration is likely to be influenced by factors such as content monetization options and algorithm familiarity, which YouTube offers extensively. Also, Instagram and Snapchat, with significant audience overlap with TikTok, would make the transition smoother for creators looking to maintain their follower base. Meanwhile, platforms like X and Discord provide unique community engagement features that appeal to those seeking deeper, more interactive connections.

Jessica Thorpe, CEO and Co-Founder of 

Hate to say this, but I’m not too concerned about this – platform popularity and dominance has been evolving since the advent of social media.  Heck, I was in the business when WOM was the closest thing to influencer marketing.  Creators who are focused on making content for their audiences as a career shouldn’t be focusing all their energy on a single platform.  They should and likely are also thinking about ways to have direct contact and communication channels with their followers.   I really don’t see a ban happening anyway.  Too much value destruction and so, my thoughts are that there will be a change in ownership. Amazon should buy it!

YouTube launched in 2006 – the same year I started working at the company I now run.  We’ve always worked to help brands and video creators tell their stories – the channels may change but the purpose has always been to illuminate consumer experiences.  Of all the other platforms, I believe YouTube is doing a better job working to bring tools to creators and features to consumers that lean into the short form, vertical video nature of TikTok with more shopping, affiliate and commerce enablement.

Deborah Stallings Stumm, Founder & Chief Fun Officer, FUNfluential

At this point, we have confidence and are hopeful that a successful resolution will come from this so that creators can continue to express themselves and have influence on TikTok. We also still see Instagram as a leading platform for toy and family creators.

Gigi Robinson, Founder of Its Gigi LLC, Hosts of Influence, Creator and Public Speaker

The potential TikTok ban is a concern for me as a creator financially, it serves as my second largest platform @itsgigirobinson and is vital source of income for me through paid partnership brand deals. It’s possible that this ban threatens my revenue but also the diverse opportunities it has facilitated.

From participating in the SI Swim search in 2022 to receiving invitations to esteemed events like the White House and the UN, TikTok has been instrumental in propelling my advocacy for mental health, body image, and chronic illness and serving as a champion for the Mental health coalition and the JED Foundation. Losing this platform would not only impact my income but also hinder my ability to engage with audiences and continue my meaningful advocacy efforts. 

That said, I do think that there are a ton of mental health issues, misinformation and toxic comparison that plagues the app so part of me thinks it would be refreshing to let go of the app.

If TikTok does get banned, I’ve already planned my next steps. While it will undoubtedly impact my business as a creator Its Gigi LLC, my second business Hosts of Influence helps creators scale their personal brands across platforms. I’ve been preparing for the aftermath of a TikTok ban scenario since 2020. I will likely pivot by investing more in my content vertices on other social platforms and continue building my brand. This situation underscores the importance of diversification, a principle I’ve been advocating since the early threats to TikTok. I think creators may continue to post their existing content on snap, YouTube, and reels. It’s really going to depend long term which creator funds or ad revenue share programs are the best. I believe YouTube will come out on top, then Instagram and then snap.  It’s all about not having all your eggs in one basket and attempting to go viral but rather a lesson I aim to impart to others through my business and lived experience as a seasoned creator. 

Pierre-Loïc Assayag, CEO and Co-founder of Traackr

This decision will ultimately put more power in the creators’ hands to steer their audiences. If there’s one thing we’ve learned that’s true for creators and brands — there is no one path (or platform) to success. The most sophisticated creators have already diversified successfully across multiple social platforms and added new revenue streams. Those creators will move to whichever non-TikTok platform has performed best for them.

Other factors — like what platform allows them to express themselves/their content style authentically — will go into their decision, too. That desire for authenticity is one of the things that originally made TikTok popular, but now it’s not the only platform that can offer that. Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and numerous others now offer short-form video, updated algorithms, monetization features and more.

Creators who haven’t yet diversified will likely look at their competitors in their industry and either follow them to the next most popular platform (for beauty/fashion influencers for example, Instagram is the most prominent platform for brand partnerships) or find the whitespace where they can carve out a space for themselves.

Then, consumers and brands will follow creators. Traackr’s 2024 U.S. IMPACT report showed that 57% of U.S. consumers said they are somewhat likely to try out a new social platform if an influencer they know and trust posts there. If TikTok is banned, consumers will follow their favorite creators to whatever platform is necessary, and wherever consumers go is where the brand deals will go.

While this action against TikTok is attention-grabbing, its implications for creators and brands aren’t too different from the turbulence that we’ve seen previously in the social media landscape (e.g. changes to algorithms and features). The social media landscape is constantly evolving, and to navigate this, brands and creators should always have a diversified approach to platforms.

Zachary Rozga, CEO, Thece

I do not have a definitive answer, because none of the platforms out there today have the discovery algorithm that is found at Tik Tok. But my gut would say that maybe YouTube Shorts would get the bulk of migration. YouTube is one of the better paying platforms and they’re gonna start paying more for short Content and engagement as well. So if you are a creator that has an audience already, moving over to YouTube Shorts would not be a huge leap and there should be a predictable revenue model. 

Elijah Khasabo, Founder, Vidovo

I’m really curious to see where creators and their audiences will head if TikTok gets banned. Snapchat, Meta, and YouTube are definitely the top contenders in my mind – probably for everyone else as well haha. Each platform has its own unique appeal that might attract the diverse community from TikTok. 

Meta, particularly through Instagram, seems like a natural fit for many TikTok users. There’s a significant overlap in audience demographics between the two I’ve noticed as well, and Instagram Reels mirrors the TikTok experience pretty closely. What makes Meta stand out, in my opinion, is how intuitive the platform is to use. It’s built a user-friendly system that not only supports seamless user interaction but also integrates effortlessly across different social media functions, making it a prime destination for migrating users. 

Snapchat also has a shot, especially with the younger crowd that values more privacy and transient content. Its use of augmented reality can open up creative avenues that were less explored on TikTok. As for YouTube, while it’s primarily known for long-form, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a surge in YouTube Shorts. The platform has been a powerhouse for video content for years, and its new focus on short-form content is a direct nod to the TikTok style. The potential for monetization on YouTube might also lure more professional creators looking for stability and reach. 

Jennifer Phan, Co-founder and CEO at Passionfroot

I anticipate that creators will gravitate towards platforms like Instagram (IG) or YouTube Shorts. YouTube presents a compelling option due to its extensive array of content formats, expansive user base, and versatile monetization avenues including advertisements, memberships, and merchandise sales. Meanwhile, Instagram has long been a pioneer in the creator economy and retains a TikTok-esque feel, making it a familiar and attractive alternative. Additionally, Snap shouldn’t be overlooked; it continues to draw in younger audiences who initially migrated to TikTok and may now consider returning to Snap.

Daniel Koss, Founder & CEO at Creable

If the US TikTok ban goes through, I believe creators and audiences will clearly migrate to YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels. These platforms already have a huge user base and offer very comparable features to TikTok, making them natural alternatives. The algorithm on TikTok is significantly better according to most users, but when TikTok is gone, users will simply take the next best alternative.

Chelsie Hall, CEO, ViralMoment

TikTok may go away in the US, but it is a global platform, and TikTok will not go away. In countries where TikTok is currently banned, we see users creating workarounds, like VPNs to continue access so that they can be a part of global conversations and trends. I’m expecting that savvy Americans will still use TikTok, even if it isn’t legally available .

That being said, ViralMoment is already measuring a flux of YouTube Shors and Instagram Reels videos and creators. Creators want to share video where there is a large audience already built in, and YTS and IR already have momentum and powerful audiences. 

Nii A. Ahene

Nii A. Ahene is the founder and managing director of Net Influencer, a website dedicated to offering insights into the influencer marketing industry. Together with its newsletter, Influencer Weekly, Net Influencer provides news, commentary, and analysis of the events shaping the creator and influencer marketing space. Through interviews with startups, influencers, brands, and platforms, Nii and his team explore how influencer marketing is being effectively used to benefit businesses and personal brands alike.

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