BLOG POST BY: Rowan Byers
December 20, 2022

Social Media News Round Up #82 – TikTok Banned In US?

Each week the insights team at The Goat Agency pull together the latest news from the social space in a weekly social media news round-up. This week we cover the latest updates from TikTok, its pursuit of YouTube’s viewing format and its potential ban in the US. Additionally, we take a look at Snap’s new data on the potential of AR and Instagram’s BeReal clone.

Don’t forget you can follow us on LinkedInInstagramTikTok and Twitter for real-time announcements of all our new blog content!

Tiktok Banned In Us


Snapchat Release New Data Underlining Potential of AR for Promotions

TikTok Banned In US, Vote US Lawmakers

TikTok Pursuing YouTube’s Horizontal Viewing Format

Elon Musk Suspends Twitter Accounts of High-Profile US Journalists

Check Out the Instagram BeReal Clone ‘Candid Stories’

Snapchat Release New Data Underlining Potential of AR for Promotions

Augmented reality (AR) has long been tipped for success within the marketing and social sectors. Snapchat is already seeing excellent success with its AR shopping and highly anticipated AR glasses. It’s worth paying attention to the latest developments and considering if they can fit within your promotional strategy.

Snapchat recently shared that Walmart’s recent Catalog-Powered Shopping Lenses reached over 35 million users, leading to over 161 million virtual trials of featured products. Snap also says that over 250 million of its users (approx. 72%) engage with AR options every day. This is becoming a more common practice as more people become accustomed to using virtual try-on tools and other digital features, and expectations around AR shopping are on the rise.

With more people now comfortable with online shopping and the convenience of browsing products from a device, demand for enhanced experiences like AR shopping is increasing, offering more potential to reach interested parties with engaging and immersive campaigns. AR systems are becoming easier to use, which could make it a more valuable offering for brands in 2023.

Tiktok Banned In Us

TikTok Banned In US, Vote US Lawmakers

TikTok has been slapped with yet another legal challenge in the US due to concerns around data collection, and the app’s connection to the Chinese Government.

As per the Republican Senator, Marco Rubio:

“This isn’t about creative videos – this is about an app that is collecting data on tens of millions of American children and adults every day. We know it’s used to manipulate feeds and influence elections. We know it answers to the People’s Republic of China. There is no more time to waste on meaningless negotiations with a CCP-puppet company. It is time to ban Beijing-controlled TikTok for good.” 

The calls could see TikTok banned in US entirely, in order to avoid sharing data with the Chinese Government, with TikTok potentially acting as a surveillance device for Chinese spies.

This is the latest concern in a running series of legal challenges against that app, which almost found itself banned in the US under the order of former President Donald Trump. It’s not even the first legal concern on the month for TikTok, as just last week, the State of Indiana filed a lawsuit accusing both TikTok and Bytedance of violating consumer protection laws, and failing to safeguard young people.

TikTok has been in this situation time and time again, but it remains a significant threat to the app’s presence in the US, and likely the biggest potential challenge to its social media domination attempt.

TikTok Pursuing YouTube’s Horizontal Viewing Format

TikTok’s presence single-handedly brought vertical video formats to the forefront of social media. The app has had its fair share of imitators, with Meta’s Reels and YouTube’s Shorts.

Now, it looks like TikTok is doing some imitating of its own, going after YouTube’s signature horizontal viewing format.

According to TechCrunch, TikTok is testing a horizontal mode that configures its videos to look more like YouTube’s. The app has confirmed that some users can access the new viewing option by tapping a full-screen button, appearing on certain videos. TikTok content that is uploaded in a square or landscape orientation is eligible for the full-screen offering.

As YouTube pursues shorter videos, TikTok is aiming to extend its average viewing time figures. Earlier in the year, TikTok extended the maximum length of videos to ten minutes, bringing more creative freedom to its creators, which is reportedly paying off. According to eMarketer, TikTok’s US watch time will surpass that of YouTube’s this year. That’s if the app doesn’t get banned first.

Tiktok Banned In Us

Elon Musk Suspends Twitter Accounts of High-Profile US Journalists

Several high-profile US journalists have had their accounts suspended by Elon Musk’s Twitter. The billionaire suggested that the ban derives from recent activity going against Twitter’s policies on sharing location information.

At least seven reporters were removed from the platform last week, including Ryan Mac of the New York Times, Donnie O’Sullivan of CNN, and Drew Harwell of the Washington Post. All of these reporters have been known for their coverage of Musk and his company.

The suspensions came after controversy over the removal of ElonJet, an account created by US student Jack Sweeney that was sharing publicly available data on the whereabouts of Elon’s private jet. Following the removal of the ElonJet account, Musk instituted a policy change prohibiting any disclosure of users’ live locations. Musk stated that the account had put his family at risk and planned to take legal action against Sweeney.

Musk recently hosted an audio stream on Twitter Spaces attended by journalists to defend the move. During the stream he noted that there will no longer be any distinction between journalists and regular people, adding:

“You’re not special because you’re a journalist. You’re a citizen. So no special treatment.”

It’s worth noting that Musk had previously said the existence of the ElonJet account was aligned with Twitter’s free speech commitments.

Tiktok Banned In Us

Instagram Adds ‘Candid Stories’ BeReal Clone

With Christmas just around the corner, Instagram has announced new connection tools. The features are designed to lean into engagement trends around the holidays and encourage users to share more of their personal interactions.

Starting with Notes, a new conversation-prompting option that will sit above the messages in your inbox. The feature will highlight chat prompts from your connections and will replicate the appearance of Stories.

Instagram is also adding Candid Stories, which is a replication of BeReal. Like BeReal, Candid prompts you to capture and share whatever you’re doing at the time, using a story that’s only visible to those who also share in-the-moment snaps. Essentially, it’s BeReal within Instagram, with the platform looking to replicate the brand’s growth by adopting its core features and offering it to its enormous user base.

While the app is immensely popular, BeReal is restricted in its growth options. On Instagram, the feature will potentially prove more popular in the long run due to a broader reach and means of exposure.

Tiktok Banned In Us

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And that’s all for this week, but don’t forget to follow us on LinkedInInstagramTikTok and Twitter for real-time announcements of all our new blog content!

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Written by: Rowan Byers

Insights Executive at The Goat Agency