TikTok unveiled its new «TikTok for Good» mini-docuseries Wednesday morning, highlighting small businesses and creators who have founded communities on the platform.
Each mini-documentary is 60 seconds long and focuses on a single creator who has used TikTok to grow their business or project. The series will be hosted on the Tik Tok Impact website, which features stories from small businesses that rely on the platform to show how the company is «driving real economic growth and job creation in communities across the US.»
The first two creators to appear are Soapmaker. jessie whittingtonwho has more than 69,000 followers on TikTok and an early literacy educator spencer russellwho is followed by more than 529,000 TikTokers.
“TikTok has such a reach that, you know, it’s just a fantastic marketing tool,” Whittington told NBC News. “I met some great people. I’ve made some amazing friends that I never got to meet in person, but I feel like we’re as close as if they lived next door to me.»
While TikTok has proven to be a crucial marketing tool for small businesses in the United States, lawmakers have become increasingly concerned about the app’s privacy and data security issues, prompting some to call for a Total ban from the platform.
Last week, a bipartisan group of senators proposed the Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Compromise Information and Communications Technology Act, or RESTRICT Act, which could give the federal government the power to regulate or ban TikTok. .
The RESTRICT Act would give the secretary of commerce broad power to regulate technology produced by six countries that have adversarial relations with the US: China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, and Venezuela.
Whittington said a TikTok ban «would have a significant impact» on her soap business because a third of her sales come from people who find her on the platform.
«Any organization has its issues, but banning TikTok, personally, I don’t think is the right move,» he said. «There has to be a way around this, other than just banning it.»
TikTok spokeswoman Brooke Oberwetter previously expressed a similar sentiment to NBC News, saying, «We hope Congress will explore solutions to your concerns about TikTok that don’t have the effect of censoring the voices of millions of Americans.»
TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew will appear before Congress on March 23 to answer questions about lawmakers’ security concerns.
kevin collier and scott wong contributed.