LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – In a luxury mansion in the Hollywood Hills, young TikTok influencers jumped on a bright sunny morning this week to try out new ideas for short videos that they hope will go viral.
They also feel worried about their future.
Kids Next Door LA is one of a number of TikTok homes established in the US where teens live, sleep and brainstorm creative ideas for dance and music videos and deals with brands that can raise millions of dollars for the top influencers.
But her livelihood is now in jeopardy by an executive order from US President Donald Trump that will effectively ban the social media app if her Chinese parent ByteDance does not reach an agreement to fire him in mid-September.
“For two to five months, maybe, everyone will take a big hit. Everyone will lose a stream of income. I think it’s really stupid … what Trump is doing, ‘said Adam Miguest 27, known on TikTok as @itsadamm, who is one of the seven influencers at home.
Walmart Inc. (WMT.N) said this week that he joined Microsoft (MSFT.O) in a bid for TikTok’s US assets. ByteDance is expected to select a bidder to enter into exclusive exclusive talks every Friday, but it’s not clear how each deal will affect the future of the quirky videos loved by millions and those who they make.
Claire Hesser, 18, a former beauty queen, says TikTok has quickly become a big part of youth culture.
“I feel like it’s being taken away, I feel it’s going to hurt more than benefit … I just wish they understood that TikTok really does have an impact on our world today and our generation in particular,” she said.
It is not only the influencers who can influence all the changes, but also brands that want to do business with them.
“Maybe people would close the store and they would do an e-commerce strategy involving TikTok. It can affect many sectors – especially the music industry, because so many songs go viral from TikTok, ”said Ariadna Jacobs, whose company manages Kids Next Door LA.
Hailey Orona, known online as @ real.ona, has 9.5 million followers on TikTok and is about to launch her own beauty line. But she also has 2.8 million followers on Instagram to fall back on.
“If it gets banned, I obviously have a back-up plan, which is to go to the YouTube platform or use the Reels on Instagram,” Orona said.
Report by Reuters Television, written by Jill Serjeant, edited by Richard Pullin