Trump Tried to Outlaw TikTok, Has Now Joined Platform

Former U.S. President Donald Trump has joined Chinese social media app TikTok despite calling the video-sharing application a security threat during his presidential tenure. In a major reversal of his position on TikTok, Trump said he was honored to join the popular social media app he previously tried to ban in the United States.

The embattled former head of state quickly gained a whopping five million followers and surpassed the Biden administration’s following of only 355,000. With the popular video-sharing app primarily filled with younger users from Gen Z, Trump is likely trying to attract young American voters to his camp amid the historic trial he has been going through in New York.

Trump made his first TikTok post just two days after he became the first former head of state and presidential nominee in the history of the nation to become a convicted felon. In his first post to the platform, Trump posed with UFC chairman Dana White at a UFC fight in Newark and said that “it’s an honor,” while he waved and took selfies with fans at the event. A day after the post, Trump’s TikTok account had more than 1.1 million followers, more than a million likes and a massive 24 million views.

According to the former president’s spokesman Steven Cheung, Trump’s move to the controversial video-sharing application is part of his efforts to reach a younger audience that is interested in anti-Biden and pro-Trump content. With most young voters in the U.S. being left leaning, Trump may struggle to convert his TikTok following into actual votes. He is currently fielding plenty of negative press, and may polls indicate that he is trailing behind President Biden after his recent felony conviction.

President Biden has also taken steps to boot TikTok from the U.S. market. Trump tried to ban the app via an executive order that was eventually squashed by the courts following a suit by TikTok. Biden, on the other hand, signed a measure that could ban the application from operating in the U.S. in April even though his campaign joined the platform in February.

The bill requires that Tik Tok parent company ByteDance sell the social media platform in nine months with an extra three months thrown in if the platform’s sale is in progress. If ByteDance doesn’t make the sale within the allotted timeline, the U.S. will ban TikTok within its borders.

Trump’s entry onto TikTok shows just how influential the video-sharing platforms by entities such as ByteDance, Momo Inc. (NASDAQ: MOMO) and others are in giving different people a platform to reach a wide audience at minimal cost.

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