Well, that was something. For roughly five hours on Thursday, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew responded to a grilling by representatives from both major political parties who bombarded him with questions and accusations related to national security, TikTok’s data practices, and its Chinese parent company ByteDance’s alleged relationship with the Chinese Communist Party.
Chew largely kept his cool and often stuck to talking points about TikTok’s efforts to cordon off U.S. user data in an initiative dubbed Project Texas, or didn’t answer questions directly. In many cases, he couldn’t even get a word in as impassioned representatives demanded quick yes or no answers, or cut him off from speaking. In a statement following the hearing, a TikTok spokesperson said “the day was dominated by political grandstanding.”
Creators need to mingle. To market themselves and their work, they need to constantly connect with their peers, professionals supporting creators and advertisers. But traditional networking and recruiting sites such as LinkedIn and Fiverr can come up short for creators, especially when it comes to finding industry-specific opportunities and showcasing their visual content.
Brian Freeman says he has a solution. He’s the founder and CEO of Creatorland, which is planning to launch a professional networking app for the creator economy in the next few weeks. Described by Freeman as a “LinkedIn for creators,” Creatorland allows creators to showcase their projects and past work, with the ability to tag collaborators, view profile analytics and build relationships with brands or other creators.
Twitter over the last two years introduced several features to help creators make money off the platform. But in recent weeks, some have stopped functioning, throwing its efforts to court creators into disarray.
Its 18-month-old tipping feature has disappeared from creators’ accounts on its website, but still appears on mobile, according to a review by The Information. The “coins” feature, another version of tipping that started testing under new CEO Elon Musk earlier this year, is also not working on at least one creator’s Twitter account as of last week, a creator told The Information.
Pegged as a bundle “to help creators establish their presence” on its platforms, Meta Verified grants subscribers a blue checkmark, extra protection from impersonation and a direct line to customer support for an $11.99 monthly price tag (or $14.99 on mobile). But it will no longer include an increase in visibility and reach for paid users. After testing out the feature, Meta received feedback that the visibility boost was causing users confusion, according to a spokesperson.
It joins a crowded slate of subscriptions offered by social networks, as the chart above shows.
The threat of a TikTok ban is once again a real possibility, after U.S. officials said the ByteDance-owned app needed to rid itself of its Chinese ownership. Creators, having been through this rigmarole three years ago, are more prepared this time.
In August 2020—when a U.S. ban felt imminent under former President Donald Trump—many of them encouraged their fans to follow them on other platforms including YouTube and Instagram. Even though that ban never happened, it was a wake-up call for TikTokers not to rely solely on one social media app.