Banned. Deleted. Gone. The status of our favorite social media platform, TikTok, is up in the air. But, this popular dancing app was not always called TikTok. 3 years ago, it was called Musical.ly.
Musical.ly was known for the short 15- second lip-syncing video clips to popular songs made by teenagers, such as Baby Ariel and Jacob Sartorius, most famous “musers” on the app. This hit app became popular in 2014, but in November of 2017, this app was bought by a Beijing 75 billion-dollar company, ByteDance, and renamed TikTok. It did not take long for TikTok to become a hit in the United States. In just a year, this app was making over 7 billion dollars, especially this past year because of the virus, COVID- 19. Many adolescents downloaded the app during the months of quarantine just because they were bored and needed/wanted something to do. Not only was this app used for entertaining and learning trendy dances, but to instigate drama, which attracted more users due to the Tiktok influencers.
President Donald Trump has claimed multiple times that he was going to ban TikTok from the United States. The TikTok users were starting to panic which resulted in multiple TikToks being made addressed to the President about the reasons he should not ban the app. Fortunately for these TikTok users, these claims were dropped until recently. The panic has occurred once again within the app because, on Aug. 7, 2020,President Trump publicly announced that he will shut down TikTok on Sep.15th unless it is sold and bought to a US company.:
Trump said, “It’s a great asset, but it’s not a great asset in the United States unless they have the approval of the United States. So it’ll close down on Sept. 15, unless Microsoft or somebody else can buy it and work out a deal.”
There are different theories as to why ByteDance bought Musical.ly in the first place and renamed it, but no one knows for sure. Anti-TikTokers believe that the Chinese government is using TikTok to collect data on the U.S users, however, no evidence can back this up. This is one of the many reasons why TikTok is allegedly getting shut down. TikTokers are scared about the undetermined future of this popular app.
Sophomore Dolly Thomas said, “I am [upset] and I feel like I am losing a connection to people. This app got me closer to a lot of friends.”
All TikTok users can do is enjoy the rest of the time they have on it and hope that those viral videos of Renegade and funny POVs continue on.