TikTok Ban Winners and Social Media Changes: Kiplinger Economic Forecasts

Our analysis of the massive social media cross-platform shake-ups.

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Social media platforms Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and LinkedIn are huge parts of our lives, but they are huge businesses in their own right that play a big part in the economy. Our highly knowledgeable Kiplinger Letter team will update you on all the important developments in this market (Get a free issue of The Kiplinger Letter or subscribe). Here’s the latest forecast… 

One way to identify the biggest winners from a potential TikTok ban is to look at other platforms popular with TikTok users. 

Instagram is the most popular, with 73% of TikTok’s U.S. users also using Meta’s (META) widely popular photo-sharing app, according to December 2022 data from eMarketer

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Meta-owned Facebook comes in second, with 64%, followed by Pinterest (55%), Snapchat (53%) and LinkedIn (42%). Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat come closest to replicating TikTok’s short, viral video posts. Alphabet’s (GOOGL) YouTube also has very similar short videos. In fact, many TikTok videos are shared on other social media sites, showing the power of the China-owned app.

Though TikTok users would be irked by a U.S. ban or other crackdown, there are plenty of alternatives that would snap up consumers’ time. Ad dollars would likely follow, as would many popular creators who post videos.

LinkedIn changes: good news for employers

Hiring managers will benefit from LinkedIn’s new free verification process. It should make it easier to vet candidates because both a user’s identity and current place of employment will be authenticated via a government-issued ID and a work email address. 

The experiment is powered by tech from Microsoft (MSFT), LinkedIn’s parent company, to ensure profiles are genuine and to fend off scams and identify fraud. Boosting trust and security on the 900 million-user website will push other social networks to follow suit. 

Facebook’s verification tool 

Meta-owned Facebook has a similar tool that runs $12 per month for users to verify their identity and get additional features. 

Meanwhile, Twitter’s changes to its "blue tick" verification system are drawing criticism, as the company overhauls the old method of authentication and pushes paid versions. It may get harder to distinguish who is genuinely authenticated and trustworthy, a potential problem for local governments and others that use Twitter to communicate.

This forecast first appeared in the The Kiplinger Letter. Since 1925, the Letter has helped millions of business executives and investors profit by providing reliable forecasts on business and the economy, as well as what to expect from Washington.  Get a free issue of The Kiplinger Letter or subscribe.   

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