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You can’t avoid the fact that TikTok has been in the news recently. It’s not only because its huge growth has just been knocked off the top spot by ChatGPT, which amassed one million users in just five days. The chatbot easily stole TikTok’s thunder––the platform took nine months to reach the same amount of users.
TikTok remains massively popular, however, with 30.8 million daily active users on iOS and another 14.43 million daily active users on Android.
That popularity and penetration across our lives has led to a number of bans and restrictions being placed on it amid concerns over the handling of users’ data.
The European Commission has banned its staff from using TikTok on work-issued devices, affecting thousands of employees. Additionally, staff won’t be allowed to use the platform on personal devices which also contain work-related apps, such as email.
In late February, the White House told federal agencies that they will have 30 days to remove TikTok from all government-issued devices, and more recently, a House committee voted to advance legislation that would allow the Biden administration to actually ban TikTok from all devices nationwide.
That follows a similar ban in India, which banned TikTok in June 2020 citing national security concerns after a military clash with China.
In the past couple of weeks, TikTok’s chief executive, Shou Chew, was before the U.S.’ House Energy and Commerce Committee for five hours, giving testimony about TikTok’s relationship with ByteDance, its parent company, and the potential influence China has over the platform.
There are plenty of other restrictions being put in place too. France and New Zealand’s Parliament have recently banned the app from official devices, and in Canada, regulators are investigating the platform’s privacy practices.
All have security concerns around privacy, what happens to data collected and the potential for threats, with the European commission saying, “This measure aims to protect the commission against cybersecurity threats and actions which may be exploited for cyberattacks against the corporate environment of the commission”.
Discover more about TikTok’s bans and the security implications of using work devices for personal use on our partner Silicon Canals.
Despite all that, TikTok remains hugely popular, especially with younger users. Those aged from 10 to 29 make up 47.4% of its users. But things may be levelling out. In the U.S., user numbers have dropped to about 111 million monthly users, down from a peak of 114 million in June.
Users are still flocking to the platform to comment on, contribute, create and stitch memes that rise and fall at breakneck speed. There is vast amounts of content making up the #BookTok, #CookTok, and #FashionTok hashtags, among many others. The app has its own language, social mores, slang and cultural touch points, which means for (older) newbies, it can be baffling to get to grips with.
Perhaps one of the most interesting macro trends on the rise within TikTok is the fact that for Gen Z, it is becoming their search tool of choice. A Google study found that 40% of users aged 18 to 24 turn to TikTok or Instagram when they need information––and not a traditional search engine.
That’s fuelling the rise of #CareerTok, where creators show a day in the life of a big tech company, complete with perks and snacks; HR leaders and recruitment experts offer tips and advice––and even legal professionals weigh in on workplace rights.
For a generation which came of working age during the pandemic, it is no surprise that younger workers are seeking advice and help on a platform they are inherently comfortable with.
On our partner Study International, we explore the career TikTok accounts you should be following, while on GradCafe we examine whether it is a good idea to take work advice from the app.
And, TikTok may even change the face of recruitment as we know it: in 2201 the platform made it possible for users in the U.S. to apply for jobs by uploading a video of their skills and experiences using the #TikTokResumes hashtag, potentially opening the way for the video CV of the future.
The Jobbio content team has written extensively about TikTok all across our partner network. We’ve explored the trends it has given birth to, and its implications for your career. Discover some more of that below.
- On Finextra, we cover the TikTok trends that are hurting your career
- How can TikTok impact your job? We example the issue on The London Economic.
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