What It Means for Food Creators

Nearly two billion. This is a number Active users Currently on TikTok. About 150 million of them are Americans. In fact, according to Pew Research CenterOne-third of Americans use the platform. But here’s the thing. Hardly any of them get published. Instead, Pew noted, the vast majority never post a single video, instead relying on content creators to not only entertain them with short content but also inform them, with a growing number of Americans saying TikTok is the way they get… On their news and information. Information. However, all of this is at risk thanks to a proposed ban on the app in the US, which has already made its way through Congress. This could have serious consequences for your favorite creators, including up-and-coming chefs and local restaurants.

On April 23, Congress passed new legislation providing that Washington Post “An ultimatum to TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, a Chinese technology company, gives it two options for its future in the United States. The company can either sell to a non-Chinese owner, or ban its use in the United States,” he explained. The next day, President Biden signed the bill into law — a law stemming from concerns that the app might sell American personal data to the Chinese government or, as The New York Times He cited concerns that China may use TikTok’s algorithmic content recommendations to fuel the spread of misinformation.

All of these concerns are real and valid, but the same argument can be made for all social media platforms, and in fact any website. In 2023, researchers from Texas A&M University They published their study Researchers took part in looking into visual misinformation on Facebook, and found that “on the eve of the 2020 election, nearly one in four political image posts on Facebook contained misinformation.” “The widespread falsehoods included QAnon conspiracy theories, misleading statements about the Black Lives Matter movement, and unsubstantiated claims about Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s son.”

In 2018, researchers from MIT published a study showing that false information spreads faster on Twitter than truthful stories — not because of bots but because of humans. “These findings shed new light on fundamental aspects of our online communication ecosystem,” says Deb Roy, associate professor of media arts and sciences at the MIT Media Lab and co-author of the study. common at that time.

There is no doubt that social media has its drawbacks, be it the negative effects on us Well-beingAnd the misuse of social media by children, and the terrible effects specifically Social networking sites for teenage girls.

However, there is another side.

“The majority of teens reported that social media helps them feel more accepted (58%), like they have people who can support them through difficult times (67%), like they have a place to show their creative side (71%), and more connected to what’s going on in their friends’ lives ( 80%)” National Institute of Health advertiser. but this is not all. There’s serious money at stake, too.

According to TikTok’s own data (which should always be taken with a grain of salt), its platform “supports significant economic growth for more than seven million businesses and the US economy as a whole by helping to support more than $24 billion in gross domestic product.” And more than 224,000 American jobs, providing a competitive advantage to small businesses across the country. And for some food-focused creators, the app has changed their lives.

“I was really blown away by TikTok because I just found some things that worked there, so it grew very quickly in a short period of time,” said James Brooks, a content creator who has more than 100,000 followers on TikToksubscriber. “I think one of the differences I’ve found between TikTok and a lot of Western social media platforms is that they don’t put creators at a distance like a lot of other social media companies do.” He added, pointing out the often irritating problem of having no one to talk to on different platforms to help resolve the account issue. You see these big Instagram users go to LinkedIn and say, “Does anyone have any contacts on Meta because I need help.” And with TikTok, they’re investing much more in employees whose job is to nurture creators and be available to creators. “I think that was one of the things I absolutely loved about TikTok from the beginning.”

Through his account, Brooks says he’s been able to connect with other creators at TikTok-led events as well as brands looking to partner and pay people like him to create content that people love, including lots of recipe and product videos. Recommendations.

Although Brooks is mostly based in the UK, he says that if the ban happens, he will lose “a significant portion of my audience”, which could impact his potential earnings with partners. Of course, he is not alone.

“People are realizing that there can be a very real impact on their livelihood and what they’ve worked hard to create,” said Scott Sutton, CEO of Later, a social media and influencer management platform. “I think there’s a growing interest from the whole community about what’s happening.” . There’s a very active dialogue, and we’re seeing it from our brand partners and through our internal relationship with TikTok. “It takes up their time and energy.”

5 food-minded TikTokers you should follow before it’s too late

Keith Lee

Keith Lee is a social media sensation. His food-related content has helped him amass more than 16 million followers on TikTok — and helped him secure partnerships like his new one with Pizza Hut.

Thomas Straker

Thomas Straker may be a real chef but people love him on TikTok for his butter and classic British dishes. (And his abundant scandals don’t seem to be affecting the number of his followers, either.)

T and Zack

Looking for super relatable content? Follow Tee & Zach instantly. The TikTok power duo has grown their account to over 2 million followers thanks to their easy and delightful recipes and great banter.

Nana Jo

Get a whole bunch of new recipes from Alejandra, aka Nana Jo. Her family-centered recipes, including some great school lunches for her kids, are easy to follow but packed with serious flavor.

Evan McCombs

Ivan, also known as RamenKingIvan, has been a hit on his TikTok account, which mostly focuses on amazing ramen recipes. As you can see, through many of his videos, he also offers an ASMR experience, which makes his videos super calming and delicious.

For the creatives, Sutton, who also hosts a podcast About the future of creators“They are deciding whether to hedge and start producing on different networks or rely on different strategies like short videos or YouTube videos, and rely more on Stories as a kind of short video content alternative to TikTok,” he says.

As for what he thinks the app has done specifically for the food community, Sutton shared: “I think it has provided a new and distinct way that the general community can interact with food, with wine, with experiences, in a completely different way than they had before.” Which is offered by the traditional network TV or live in-person experience and I think there are a lot of different interesting approaches that TikTok has taken – from people who are all about organic and healthy eating. There’s the fitness community and Paleo, or other trends like keto and fasting, and so many different ways to showcase food, all the way to the most creative artistic chocolatier who has 20 million followers who makes these amazing creations and exposes us to different ideas, different expressions, and really opens people’s eyes to ways New to interact with [food]”.

In fact, TikTok has become a space for consumers to find inspiration on what and where to eat next, especially among the Generation Z demographic. Cassandra, an insights and strategy group, 53% of Gen Z participants said they find “new food inspiration through TikTok,” adding that Gen Z audiences “crave unique culinary experiences and are adventurous eaters. Due to the pandemic, Gen Z has become chefs.” Self-taught at home, thanks to the help of social media, this trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon as Generation Z has found a new way to be themselves, and brands and marketers should be too. Take note.”

Beyond Gen Z, TikTok has also created a dedicated space for underrepresented creators in the BIPOC community, who haven’t found the same success elsewhere. March report by Oxford Economics showed that small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) from minority groups “reported increased sales after promoting their products and services on TikTok — and 83% of African American SMBs had seen this result at least once, while a larger percentage of Latinos or Hispanic (86%) and American Pacific Islander (88%) business owners have seen the same boost in business, with nearly half (45%) of SMBs from minority groups saying TikTok enables them to establish profitable business partnerships and sponsorships. “It would have been difficult to create the app without the app.”

As for why TikTok foodies and other creatives became so popular in the first place, says Chloe Sabern, founder Chloe Sabern CreativeThis is simply because it is much more casual than other platforms, he says. This ease of access has allowed creators to feel more confident posting, and followers feel like they really know the creators behind their favorite videos.

“It’s not so much about the image you curate as it is about the content and what you say and how you engage with your community,” Sapern said. “What I tell my food clients is, if TikTok disappeared tomorrow, let’s just make sure that the content that we were using on that platform, so the behind-the-scenes stuff didn’t get filtered out, we just find a new home for it, whether that’s on YouTube Shorts or Instagram Stories, it may be in the reel, but it doesn’t live on the net.”

If our experts believe the ban will actually happen, they all said no. Or, at the very least, if it does happen, it won’t happen tomorrow.

“From everything I’ve seen, the most likely scenario is that he will be stopped in a full-scale legal battle,” Sutton said. “I also think what will determine that is the outcome of the election in November, as Trump and the Republicans have now changed their position on the issue and are more on the anti-ban side. However, regardless of the nominee, there will be an intense legal battle,” Sutton added. TikTok may shut down its US operation. “A US shutdown would actually be their preferred workforce,” which would “force the government to act knowing there will be a backlash from US citizens.”

But maybe you should make sure you follow your favorite creators on other platforms. just in case.

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