BrandArena: Trump Joins TikTok, Gains 2 Million Followers in 4 Hours Amid Legal Controversy

Monday 3 June 2024

Trump Joins TikTok, Gains 2 Million Followers in 4 Hours Amid Legal Controversy

In an unexpected turn of events, Donald Trump has joined TikTok, swiftly amassing over 2 million followers within just four hours. The move is particularly notable given that the former United States President and current Republican presidential candidate had previously sought to ban the social media platform on national security grounds during his time in office.

On Saturday night, Trump debuted his @realdonaldtrump account with a launch video featuring him greeting fans at an Ultimate Fighting Championship event in Newark, New Jersey. The video has already racked up over 34 million views.

In an intriguing turn, Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung stated that the campaign would "leave no front undefended" in its effort to reach younger voters.

Joining TikTok on Saturday marks a strategic move for Trump as he seeks to connect with younger demographics while pursuing his third bid for the White House, in a tight race against Democratic incumbent Joe Biden ahead of the November 5th presidential election.

Though in March, Trump voiced opposition to a TikTok ban, not citing First Amendment concerns but arguing that it would advantage Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta. On Truth Social, he asserted, “If you eliminate TikTok, Facebook and Zuckerschmuck will double their business,” branding Facebook as “a genuine Enemy of the People!”

Despite Biden’s campaign presence on TikTok with 336,000 followers, the administration has supported legislation that could ban the app if its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, fails to divest it. ByteDance is legally contesting the mandate to sell TikTok by January or face prohibition, citing national security concerns.

TikTok contends it does not share U.S. user data with the Chinese government and has implemented extensive privacy measures. Trump’s previous efforts to ban TikTok in 2020 were thwarted by the courts. While he labeled the platform a national security threat, he also acknowledged that banning it could disadvantage young users and bolster Meta Platforms’ Facebook, a platform he vocally criticizes.

Trump already commands a substantial social media following with over 87 million followers on X and more than 7 million on his platform, Truth Social, where he maintains an almost daily presence.

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