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More political storms for TikTok after US government ban

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More political storms for TikTok after US government ban

Image: – © AFP Kazuhiro NOGI

TikTok faces an uncertain year ahead in the United States as anti-China Republicans take greater control in Congress demanding tighter scrutiny for the highly popular video sharing app.

Owned by Chinese tech giant ByteDance, TikTok has become a political punching bag for US conservatives who allege that the app downloaded by millions of US young people can be circumvented for spying or propaganda by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

But now Democrats have joined the groundswell of criticism and US President Joe Biden last week signed a new law that bans the use of TikTok on government-issued devices. The law also bans TikTok use in the US House of Representatives and Senate.

TikTok is the equivalent of “digital fentanyl,” said Republican lawmaker Mike Gallagher, one of the leading voices in Congress against China, comparing the app to the deadly opioid.

“It’s highly addictive and destructive and we’re seeing troubling data about the corrosive impact of constant social media use, particularly on young men and women here in America,” he told NBC News.

“We have to ask whether we want the CCP to control what’s on the cusp of becoming the most powerful media company in America,” Gallagher told NBC.

A TikTok spokesperson said that there is “zero truth” to Gallagher’s comments and that the CCP “has neither direct nor indirect control of ByteDance or TikTok.”

The national law matches dozens of government-use bans at the state and local level and now TikTok USA is fighting to survive as a Chinese-owned company, with the growing chance that it will have to divest from ByteDance in order to remain on US smartphones.

This was the fate demanded by former president Donald Trump who ordered that TikTok operations in the United States be sold to US company Oracle before Biden entered office and took a less drastic approach.

But the mood towards TikTok soured considerably last month when ByteDance was forced to admit that employees improperly accessed TikTok data to track journalists in an effort to identify the source of leaks to the media.

Criticism has even expanded to other Western countries with French President Emmanuel Macron last month accusing the Chinese social network of censoring content and encouraging online addiction among young people.

– ‘Comprehensive package’ –

TikTok has put months of effort into trying to find a long-term arrangement with the US government through the secretive interagency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

Reports have revealed that TikTok and the Biden administration were on the verge of announcing a long-term deal that would have defined strict safeguards for US users’ data.

“The solution under consideration by CFIUS is a comprehensive package of measures with layers of government and independent oversight… well beyond what any peer company is doing today,” said Brooke Oberwetter, a TikTok spokesperson.

But this arrangement has been held up amid public criticism by FBI Director Christopher Wray who said he continues to see TikTok as a threat to national security.

Wray last month warned the Chinese had the ability to control the app’s algorithm, leaving US users vulnerable to a government “that doesn’t share our values, and that has a mission that’s very much at odds with what’s in the best interests of the United States.”

TikTok staunchly denies that the Chinese government has such controls.

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YouTube Will Now Enable Brands to Buy Specific Time Slots Around Major Events for Masthead Ads

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YouTube Will Now Enable Brands to Buy Specific Time Slots Around Major Events for Masthead Ads

YouTube has added a new time targeting element to its Masthead Ads, which will enable brands to display their promotions in key times leading up to key events.

As explained by YouTube:

In a time of multiple screens and countless ways to stay entertained, it can be challenging to get your audience’s attention. But even with so much content available at any time, people are drawn to moments they can experience together: a new movie release, a big game, a product launch, a holiday. And these are key opportunities to connect with a brand. Marketers, you know this well: you center advertising campaigns around the tentpole moments most likely to inspire your audience, shift perceptions or influence a purchase decision.”

YouTube’s Cost-Per-Hour Masthead enables brands to own the most prominent placement in the app during the hour(s) leading up to, during or after priority moments.

For example:

“[During the recent World Cup], McDonald’s Brazil turned to the YouTube Cost-Per-Hour Masthead. Their strategy was savvy: reach anyone in Brazil who was watching YouTube an hour before the Brazil vs. Cameroon match and remind them to pick up McDonald’s before the game started. This perfectly timed execution delivered tens of millions of impressions at the very moment fans were preparing for the match.

It could be a good way to hook into key moments, and build momentum for your campaigns, while also establishing association with key events and subjects.

“Just a few weeks ago, Xiaomi, the leading smartphone manufacturer in India, prepared to launch their highly anticipated Redmi Note 12 series via YouTube livestream. To drive viewership, Xiaomi ran the Cost-Per-Hour Masthead during the event. Not only did this activation drive scaled awareness, it led to over 90,000 concurrent livestream views. The Redmi Note 12 went on to generate a record number of first-week sales, making it one of their most successful launches to date.

It’s an expansive, but potentially significant targeting option, which could hold appeal for big brands looking to make a big splash around major events and releases.

You can learn more about YouTube’s Cost-Per-Hour Masthead process here.

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'Astonishing' New Cognitive Research Shows Gaining Knowledge, Learning New Skills, and Achieving Mastery Comes Down to the Rule of 7

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'Astonishing' New Cognitive Research Shows Gaining Knowledge, Learning New Skills, and Achieving Mastery Comes Down to the Rule of 7

While talent matters, the good news is we all learn at basically the same rate–and can “learn anything we want.” Think you don’t have the talent for entrepreneurship? For leadership? For programming, for design… for whatever pursuit you may want to, um, pursue? According to HubSpot co-founder …

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How to Successfully Use Social Media: A Small Business Guide for Beginners [Infographic]

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How to Successfully Use Social Media: A Small Business Guide for Beginners [Infographic]

Are you a small business owner or marketing manager, just getting started on building your social media strategy? Need to learn the basics before launching your first social media campaign?

In this infographic, Sprout Social shares social media tips broken down as follows:

  • Who uses social media?
  • What does social media do for you?
  • Define your goals
  • Targeting your audience
  • Choosing a platform
  • Social media metrics

Check out the infographic below to learn more.

How to Successfully Use Social Media: A Small Business Guide for Beginners

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