TikTok may have narrowly avoided being banned in the US for the time being, but it couldn't escape the iron judgment of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority. This morning, the PTA issued an announcement that after multiple warnings to the viral video app, it is banning the service until better moderation practices against immoral and indecent content are enacted.
If you had told me a year ago that an app primarily used for children to upload videos of themselves doing funny dances would be the center of a political storm, I'm not sure I would have believed you. The Trump administration announced last month that it planned to ban TikTok from the United States unless its ownership was divested, and just before the ban was scheduled to take effect, a judge has blocked the move.
As part of the Trump administration's crackdown on Chinese apps, the US government is set to ban all transactions with Tencent, the owner of WeChat, beginning on September 20. As that deadline approaches, the US Justice Department has issued a filing clarifying that it does not plan to penalize individual WeChat users themselves as part of the ban.
YouTube has always been the premier destination to watch music videos, skits, and how-tos, but consumers of shorter content found themselves drawn to competing apps. YouTube copied Instagram stories previously, and this new functionality seems targeted to TikTok teens. Now that TikTok's future is uncertain, YouTube is announcing the launch of Shorts, a new way to create and share videos of 15 seconds or less.
TikTok rocketed further into the mainstream in July, when President Trump indicated that his administration would like to see TikTok banned, and later sold off, over alleged privacy concerns stemming from parent company ByteDance being headquartered in China. Big players like Microsoft are interested in making a deal to keep the popular short video platform alive, but sources inside the Chinese government claim the country would rather see TikTok die off in the US rather than be pressured into selling.
As the corporate fate of social video platform TikTok remains hazy, the technical side has been going about business as usual and is out with a new if basic feature: users are now able to stitch parts of others' video into their own remix post.
TikTok facing bans in two of its most prominent markets is only putting pressure on competitors to step up and fill that gap. Instagram jumped at the chance and quickly expanded its own TikTok clone, Reels, to international markets. The feature currently lives inside the Explore tab, but the photo-sharing app doesn't want things to stop there. Instagram is now trying to push users towards Reels even more by giving it a prominent position on the home screen.