Updated: Mar 15
"TikTok IS my business, Rick...." That was the start of a tear-jerker of a conversation that no one in Washington wants to talk about. Tim Knight, the owner of an online retailer selling fun t-shirts, has grown his business using short-form videos showing off his business to his predominantly Gen Z following of 184,000 followers has worked with Metromedia Branding since 2019 and is terrified because his whole following originated from TikTok and over half of them use TikTok exclusively. When I met him, he took out a small advance and put the money to work in an ad campaign that launched his business to the moon and paid off the merchant cash advance he had with Advantage. He never retook funding but has never lost touch since that time. He is one of the thousands of small businesses that discovered that the TikTok business platform is far superior to other platforms like Facebook and Snapchat to reach his target audience.
Many business owners have discovered the platform to be beneficial to their businesses but are concerned about the possible damages their businesses would face if the platform gets banned as the result of bipartisan legislation giving Bidan the power to US government new powers, up to and including a ban, against foreign-linked producers of electronics or software that the Commerce Department deems to be a national security risk according to CNN Business. However, many say that every platform has the same capabilities of data collection and function that the Chinese platform TikTok has. The government has ligament concerns for fears that the data collected would get into the hands of the Chinese Communist Party. Still, people opposed to this bill point out that the CCP could purchase the same data from other platforms like Facebook or Apple. Is this a day late and a dollar short? The platform has over a billion users, and it seems as if there was a concern that the data was getting into the wrong hands that it should not have been able to launch in the first place—content creators like Coach.Stone on the platform proffer that the ban seems a bit more sinister and the video (shown)
has been liked by over 57,000 people that seem to agree with him. The comments in the video also talk about how the platform seems to have more creators than YouTube or Instagram joining it and using it. Regardless of whether anyone's opinion is if it should stay or if it should go, we understand that if it goes that there will be a need in the marketplace for a replacement platform is needed. Metromedia Funding Solutions backed the emergency build and unlimited overtime to make a new platform for the creators to join so they can direct their audiences to find them in the event of a ban and the official launch of the LHN Social platform known as Headline is set for official rollout on St. Patrick's Day and will be hosted in the back end of the national news platform with full functionality. Metromedia also mentions that the goal is not to "take people away from TikTok" but to make sure that the goal of protecting the content creators and their following is the first position goal. The Metromedia brand is also building a monetization and live-streaming platform for creators to be incorporated into the platform that is functioning in beta mode at this time. Several of the filters used in TikTok were developed by the Metromedia sister brand Videostars, and the brand is taking a proactive approach to continuing on its own stand-alone platform for its users. It has been on our radar for a couple of years that we need to build a better platform based in the United States for users anyways. The beta test rollout that went live this weekend is like a mashup of TikTok and Facebook, bringing the post setting that Facebook has into a "For You" infinite scroll like TikTok. Still, we have our work cut out for us, especially if they turn off TikTok without any warning in the future. Metromedia elected to use the United States-based servers with WIX but with an enhanced security platform where the data will not be sold.
We expect to make many improvements on the platform as people join it and get used to sharing on it. Still, with the time crunch, this will be a live working project, one of the first of its kind, where the platform will be live, but improvements will be added as needs become identified. Several publications, including the USA Today mentioned that a ban on TikTok could raise significant questions about First Amendment rights, and was a substantial deciding factor of why a rush was placed on the LHN Social project .
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