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TikTok Remains Available in US as Latest Deadline for its Forced Sale Passes

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Honestly, it feels like such a long time ago that the US Government issued an Executive Order which called for the sale of TikTok to a US business, or it would face a full ban in the region. So much has happened since then, but going on the technical details of the initial EO, TikTok should have been either sold or banned in the US by now.

But it hasn’t been, and it isn’t.

After a range of court challenges and judgments, the timeline for the TikTok sell-off has been extended and changed multiple times, but the most recent, still standing deadline from the original Order stated that TikTok needed to be sold to a US company by December 4th, or it would be banned outright.

But that, of course, was last Friday, and TikTok is still here. Why is that?

According to The New York Times, the deadline for a TikTok sell-off has not been extended (again), but at the same time, the US Government has “no plans to take no immediate action in response to the lapsed cutoff”. Officials will reportedly allow the ongoing takeover discussions between TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, and its chosen suitors, in an Oracle/Walmart led consortium, to continue, with a view to a sell-off of the app in the near future.

But if that doesn’t happen, no one seems to be clear on what comes next.

As noted, various court challenges have found the basis of the original White House Executive Order to be inadequate, due to a lack of evidence to support claims of alleged spying, censorship, and more. Numerous concerns have been raised with respect to TikTok’s possible sharing of user data with the Chinese Government, but thus far, there’s no evidence to suggest that this has occurred, which is why the TikTok ban has not been enacted.

Instead, it’s been pushed out, with deadlines extended to resolve the situation amicably. But as more and more challenges have been heard and upheld – including one from a group of TikTok influencers who successfully argued that the ban would harm their livelihood – it’s become increasingly clear that the original EO will not stand, and that the US Government would need to either produce new evidence, or take an alternate approach, in order to impose sanctions on the app.

Which it could do, but that would require more direct action under the President’s national security powers, and with various other concerns weighing on his mind at present, it seems that TikTok is the least of President Trump’s considerations.

So, TikTok, as it currently stands, won’t be banned, even if it’s not sold off, but the negotiations over its sale to the Oracle/Walmart group are still ongoing. In theory, at least.

It actually seems like the negotiations may be on hold until the new President is sworn in, and if Biden doesn’t see TikTok as a significant threat, in the way that Trump did, it seems likely that the case will simply fade away.

Right now, there’s no impact – TikTok remains available, as normal, and remains under the ownership of ByteDance. Whether that will change in future, we don’t know, as there’s now no deadline for a sale, and no defined path for future action if it isn’t sold off.

By February, we should have a clearer view, but it seems likely that for all the discussion and debate, TikTok will continue on its march toward a billion users.

Socialmediatoday.com

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Meta Could be Exploring Paid Blue Checkmarks on Facebook and Instagram

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Meta Could be Exploring Paid Blue Checkmarks on Facebook and Instagram

It seems like Elon Musk’s chaotic management approach at Twitter is having some broader impacts, with more companies reportedly considering lay-offs in the wake of Musk culling 70% of Twitter staff (and keeping the app running), and Meta now apparently also considering charging for blue checkmarks in its apps.

Yes, the Twitter Blue approach to making people pay for verification, which hasn’t proven overly popular on Twitter itself, is now also seemingly in consideration at Meta as well.

According to a new finding by reverse engineering pro Alessandro Paluzzi, there’s a new mention in the codebase of both Facebook and Instagram of a ‘paid blue badge’.

Paluzzi also shared a screenshot of the code with TechCrunch:

That does appear to refer to a subscription service for both apps, which could well give you a blue verification badge as a result.

Mets has neither confirmed nor denied the project, but it does seem, at least on the surface, that it’s considering offering checkmarks as another paid option – which still seems strange, considering the original purpose of verification, which is to signify noteworthy people or profiles in the app.

If people can just buy that, then it’s no longer of any value, right?

Evidently, that’s not the case, and with Twitter already bringing in around $7 million per quarter from Twitter Blue subscriptions, maybe Meta’s looking for a means to supplement its own intake, and make up for lost ad dollars and/or rising costs of its metaverse development.

It seems counter-intuitive, but I guess, if people will pay, and the platforms aren’t concerned about there being confusion as to what the blue ticks actually mean.

I guess, more money is good?

Meta has, in the past, said that it won’t charge a subscription fee to access its apps. But this, of course, would be supplemental – users wouldn’t have to pay, but they could buy a blue checkmark if they wanted, and use the implied value of recognition for their own purposes.

Which seems wrong, but tough times, higher costs – maybe every app needs to start digging deeper.

Meta hasn’t provided any info or confirmation at this stage, but we’ll keep you updated on any progress.



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YouTube Shorts Exceed 50B Daily Views, Meta’s Reels Doubles Plays 02/03/2023

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YouTube Shorts Exceed 50B Daily Views, Meta's Reels Doubles Plays 02/03/2023

YouTube Shorts and Meta’s Reels are both making
headway in the intensely competitive video shorts sector.  

During Alphabet’s Q4 earnings call on Thursday, CEO Sundar Pichai reported that YouTube Shorts has surpassed 50 billion
daily views. That’s up from the 30 billion reported in Q1 2022.

However, it still …



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Podcast Marketing Statistics for Businesses [Infographic]

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Podcast Marketing Statistics for Businesses [Infographic]

Podcasts have become an increasingly popular content format, providing on-demand, topical material covering virtually any subject that you can think of.

Indeed, according to estimates, over 130 million people will listen to podcasts monthly in the US this year, which could also provide significant opportunities for marketers to tap into this captive audience, and reach them with relevant ads and offers.

If you’re considering getting into podcasting or podcast advertising, this will help. The team from Spiralytics have put together a collection of podcast consumption stats and notes, which could help guide your thinking around the format.

Check out the full infographic below.

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