As TikTok Faces U.S. Ban, Competitors Look to Fill the Market

Photo from Clapper’s Instagram

As TikTok Faces U.S. Ban, Competitors Look to Fill the Market

By Movieguide® Contributor

With a TikTok ban looming, competitors are looking to draw in new users as Americans begin seeking alternative short-form content apps.

One such app is Clapper, a social media platform that has started to gain significant traction since President Biden signed the TikTok ban into law. Clapper currently averages 300,000 daily active users and 2 million monthly users; however, it is now seeing roughly 200,000 new downloads a week.

“Compared to TikTok, we are still in the very early stage, because they have a billion monthly active users,” said Edison Chen, the founder and CEO of Clapper. “So we are more like a virtual community targeting more for mature Gen X and Y.”

While the app centers around short-form content, similar to TikTok, its defining feature is that it looks to serve an older audience, a demographic Chen believes is underserved. Users are required to be older than 17, and the platform’s guidelines call for age-appropriate, mature behavior.

D Magazine explains, “When users launch a Clapper account, they identify specific communities they align with (think barbecue, sports, real estate, or farmers). They are then exposed to curated content with a similar interface to TikTok.” They can also filter by location to connect with other creators.

“TikTok is targeting more of the younger generation, especially below 25. I saw there’s a possibility of a more mature [user base]. They also want to enjoy the short video format, but a majority of the social media platforms, they are targeting the younger generations,” Chen said. “[Clapper is] for people, where their voice is being heard and valued and they are being protected.”

As both consumers and creators look for alternatives to TikTok, Chen believes his app stands out because of its approach to monetization. The platform allows for monetization regardless of a user’s follower count, and the percentage offered to creators is much more generous than what other platforms offer.

“We are more believers of a creator economy, which relies more on creators themselves to monetize their content and create valuable content, and then we incentivize them to keep doing that, and also they will receive a very good portion of the revenue,” Chen said.

Clapper receives 5% of live stream sales of goods and 15% from subscriptions and tips, leaving the rest for the creators.

While Clapper holds a minuscule stake in the world of short-form content, that could all change if TikTok is banned in the U.S. On April 24, a federal bill was signed into law requiring TikTok to be sold to a company not controlled by a “foreign adversary” within the next nine months or be blocked on all American devices. If the ban were to go into effect, the 170 million Americans who currently use the platform would lose access overnight.

Due to the unprecedented nature of the ban, TikTok has filed a lawsuit claiming the law violates the First Amendment.

Movieguide® previously reported:

TikTok is suing the United States government in hopes of overturning a new law that would require its parent company, ByteDance, to sell the platform or be banned in the U.S.

Biden signed the Protecting Americans’ Data From Foreign Adversaries Act of 2024 on April 24, and TikTok and ByteDance filed their lawsuit against the U.S. on May 7.

Per CBS News, “The petition filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., alleges that the measure signed into law by President Biden last month is unconstitutional in part because it violates the First Amendment rights of its users in the U.S. by effectively shutting down their access to the popular forum. Filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the petition calls for the court to block Attorney General Merrick Garland from enforcing the measure.”

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