President Joe Biden’s 2024 campaign joined TikTok this past weekend @bidenhq, although his administration has expressed national security concerns with regard to the platform in the past, and several government agencies and states have banned the platform from use on government devices.
The TikTok account launched with a couple of videos -- one featuring the president making jokes about remembering things and the other focused on jokes.
The president will not personally join the platform. His campaign team will run the account in an effort to reach young voters. The inaugural post featured the president being asked about the Super Bowl.
For a second year in a row, Biden skipped the live annual interview related to the Super Bowl, but made a TikTok video about the two teams.
White House officials told reporters he made the decision to skip the annual interview “because Super Bowl viewers wanted to watch football, not the president.”
New York, one of the first to ban the TikTok on government mobile devices, adopted an internal policy in June 2020.
U.S. government officials were concerned that TikTok would give its Chinese parent company ByteDance access to U.S.-related data. By banning the app on phones, it would strengthen security measures, guard against cyberthreats, and protect against other data intrusions.
The bans have largely been restricted to official devices, though Montana passed a bill barring TikTok across the state. About 31 states, such as Alaska, Arizona, Iowa, South Dakota have banned TikTok for one reason or another.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have warned that ByteDance could share with China’s government U.S.-related data such as browsing history, location and biometric identifiers.
Biden also approved a limited TikTok ban in December 2022, when he signed the 4,126-page spending bill into law. The ban prohibited the use of TikTok by the federal government’s nearly 4 million employees on devices owned by its agencies, with limited exceptions for law enforcement, national security and security research purposes, according to NBC News.
TikTok claims to have spent $1.5 million on security to prevent unauthorized foreign access to U.S. related data and the systems that deliver content.
Biden’s campaign strategy is to reach voters where they spend time on social media, although the U.S. government has prohibited use of the platform in some states and federal organizations.
Ironically, 31% of TikTok users are 65 years and older, with 10% between the ages of 55 and 64, 3.6% between the ages of 45 and 54, and 6.2% between the ages of 35 and 44.
Users up to the age of 34 account for 16.4%, according to Insider Intelligence data from May 2023.
TikTok generated approximately 232 million downloads from global users during the last quarter of the year, according to Statista.
In October 2023, TikTok had more than 1.2 billion active monthly users, of which the United States represented the largest audience.
Douyin -- China’s version of TikTok, which is also owned by ByteDance -- has 750 million daily active users.
In the U.S. on TikTok, the largest group of users is between 18 and 24 years of age.