Late last week, the Indian government announced that it would ban the popular video sharing platform TikTok due to “privacy and integrity concerns”. Following their lead, a few US senators have stated they are considering a similar TikTok ban in the US.
This is a huge loss for parent company ByteDance, who created TikTok. India and the US constitute their 2nd and 3rd largest markets, respectively. But the bigger loss may be for Indian TikTok influencers, who just went out of business overnight.
Events like this highlight how fragile social content creation can be. Government policies, cross-border tensions and platform decisions can drastically impact millions of creators in one fell swoop. So how do TikTok influencers respond, and how can they build out a more stable follower base in the future?
Let’s start from the very beginning.
What role do platforms like TikTok play for influencers?
Social platforms like TikTok, Instagram and Youtube are immensely important in influencers’ journeys. They help creators start from scratch, build a brand and over time, a loyal fanbase. If you’re experimenting with creating content for the first time, social media platforms are the best stage to get you going on your dreams.
Basically, platforms like TikTok give you the stage, resources and audience to start showing off your talent.
As you start to grow, social platforms also provide some ways to monetize your content. The catch is that they take a cut of your profits and exert a huge amount of control over your audience. In essence, if you establish yourself on their platform, they take the largest piece of the pie and share a bit of success with you.
Why is it important to start owning your social identity?
Though social media platforms help you grow in a lot of ways, your most valuable asset as an influencer is your social presence and identity. As we saw in India’s Tik Tok ban, building a brand entirely on social media can be risky. If your entire brand exists on social media, changes to their policy or monetization options can make or break your business.
If you want to be a full-time influencer, it’s time to establish your personal brand online.
Where can influencers build their brands off of social media?
Once you’ve established a loyal following, it’s time for you to start carving out a space for yourself online – A space that you own and have complete control of. One major way we’ve seen influencers do this in 2020 is by establishing their own personal mobile and OTT apps.
Owning apps for your content empowers you to navigate your fans and content. You can publish on your own schedule, create personalized feeds for your fans, view all of your analytics and most importantly, own your audience. Whether you’re a video game streamer or a daily vlogger, native apps on popular platforms like iOS, Android, and Roku give you a new level of visibility.
You no longer need to rely on social algorithms to bring in new viewers. You get 100% of your ad and sponsorship profits. Most importantly, you’re no longer at the mercy of new laws and policies that apply to corporations like TikTok, YouTube and more.
How can you build your own app, even if you have no experience?
There are many app creation services that enable you to build your own branded mobile and OTT apps that you completely control and monetize from. We recommend MAZ, which is a very easy and fairly priced app creation platform.
MAZ offers content distribution from their simple to use DIY platform to all the app stores like iOS, Android, AppleTV, Roku, Amazon FireTV etc. Plus, you can easily monetize your content through paid subscriptions, ad services and more. With its ease of use, you can quickly build a Netflix-style app in a matter of days, with no coding or design experience.
It’s time to own your space and destiny. As they say, living on rent is good, but as you grow up, own your home. If you’re interested in learning more, get in touch with the MAZ team here for a personalized brand consultation.