TikTok stars are bidding farewell after Trump said he could ban the popular app in the US as early as today (1 August).
As news of the probable ban was announced, users with big followings on the platform made quick videos asking their viewers to follow them on Instagram instead.
The app is estimated to be used by more than 80m people in the US. It permits users to create videos between 15 and 60 seconds, many of which rack up millions of views after circulating on Twitter.
President Trump said on Friday (31 July): “As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States.”
He said he could use emergency economic powers or an executive order to enforce the action, insisting, “I have that authority – it’s going to be signed tomorrow.”
Dixie D’Amelio, who gained millions of viewers after posting clips of herself dancing with her sister Charli, reacted to the news by posting a video of herself staring at the camera, visibly upset, as her song “Be Happy” played.
Charli, who is yet to comment on the news, is the most-followed TikTok star with 75.1m followers.
Another user, Tony Lopez, urged his 21m followers to follow him on other social media apps.
Skincarebyhyram, who specialises in skincare videos, thanked his five million followers for making his ”life incredible for the past five months”.
He added: I’ll miss our memories, seeing your beautiful faces and all the laughs.”
Trump’s comments come amid escalating tensions with China, with his administration insisting widespread use of the Chinese-owned app could put citizens at risk.
A representative for TikTok issued a statement, stating: “While we do not comment on rumours or speculation, we are confident in the long-term success of TikTok.”
The news comes months after TikTok users were considered to be partly responsible for the low turnout at the president’s recent rally in Tulsa.