Gen-Z Americans Concerned About Losing Side Hustle Income With the Looming TikTok Ban

By: Kate Row | Published: Apr 02, 2024

TikTok rose in popularity as a video-sharing app and social media platform in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. The app was initially launched in September 2016, but it didn’t receive much attention at first.

When everyone was stuck at home scrolling their phones during lock down, things rapidly started heating up for TikTok. The app jumped up from less than half a million users in 2020 to more than 834.3 million in 2023.

TikTok Rose to Fame During the Pandemic

Instead of using TikTok as an app to share silly videos, voiceovers, and playful choreography, Americans quickly realized that TikTok could be used to earn tons of money. With the uncertainty the pandemic caused, additional money-making opportunities were appealing to millions of people.

A woman wearing a long-sleeved green shirt uses her phone while wearing a black Covid mask

Source: Pixabay

There are several ways users can go about earning cash on TikTok. These methods include joining the TikTok Creator Fund program which pays between two cents and four cents for every thousand views. $300 million has been set aside for TikTokers ready to earn cash for their content.


Rising Concerns About Losing Side Hustle Income

Now that the notion of TikTok getting banned across America is looming, citizens who’ve been earning money on the app are starting to get concerned. Conversations about banning TikTok have been circulating for weeks, but things got serious on March 13, 2024, based on a passed bill from the House.

A lengthy receipt lays on top of a table of groceries. The receipt reveals a long list of foods and home essentials.

Source: Pixabay

Without access to TikTok for financial benefits, many Americans will be out of luck when it comes to paying their basic bills, covering their groceries, taking care of their families, and keeping up with their mortgages.

Details About the Bill

The bill in question calls for the forced sale or ban of TikTok. It rapidly blazed through the House, who collectively came to an agreement that TikTok needs to be owned by Americans or completely forgotten.

The capitol building is where the Senate works to create laws and pass bills. It’s located in Washington DC.

Source: Pixabay

The Senate hasn’t been so quick to hop on that bandwagon, though. They’re taking their time by cautiously deliberating before coming to final conclusions.

The Senate is Taking Its Time

One of the reasons the Senate might be taking a while to analyze their stance on this bill is that they know how much it would negatively impact American businesses and citizens. Making sure the economy remains stimulated is something that should be prioritized.

Social media user Liz Greenwood posts on X to describe side hustle culture in America.

Source: X

If the American people don’t have enough money for their wants or needs, the economy will inevitably begin to crumble.

President Biden’s Stance on the TikTok Ban

President Biden already revealed that he’s prepared to sign off on a forced sale or ban of TikTok if the bill makes it to his desk. As of now, there hasn’t been any word from Biden about the way this bill will influence the current state of America’s economy.

President Biden speaks into microphones on stage in front of glittery Saint Patrick’s Day decor.

Source: X

Biden has spoken on canceling student loans, inflation, and gas prices – but he hasn’t addressed finances in relation to TikTok. Money will forever be a hot topic of conversation for whichever president is in charge at any given time, and that still happens to be the case today.


How TikTokers Generate Money on the App

There are countless ways to make money on TikTok outside of joining the TikTok Creator Fund program. Some users publish sponsored posts from brand deals, others have dipped their toes into affiliate marketing, and others collect tips or donations for going live.

Woman uses a selfie stick to film herself as she poses in front of a wall mural or piece of naturalistic art.

Source: Pixabay

Some users promote products from major businesses and corporations on TikTok Shop to earn a percentage of each sale. Other TikTokers run ads to promote their personal businesses to earn money on their own products and services. Some TikTokers have abandoned their 9-to-5 careers in exchange for full-time lifestyles as content creators, vloggers, and social media influencers.


The TikTok Ban is Causing Widespread Rage

Tons of angry Americans have taken to social media to vent about the situation. Although this issue is happening solely to TikTok, Americans are venting about their frustrations on other platforms like X, Instagram, YouTube, and Reddit. Users who are concerned about losing the money-making avenues they’ve created on TikTok are voicing their opinions without holding back in the slightest.

Social media user David V. Kimball posts about his frustration and outrage toward the TikTok ban on X.

Source: Twitter

People are recording themselves talking about how much rage the TikTok ban is causing — and it’s giving them the chance to go viral. This specific topic is helping social media users gain millions of views and likes from others who are just as upset.


50% of Americans Rely on Side Hustle Income

The reality is that more than 50% of Americans currently rely on side hustles to pay their bills right now. Having one job alone simply isn’t cutting it for most citizens. If the TikTok ban happens and people lose access to their lucrative side hustle money, serious backlash will occur.

Woman shows off the products she has for sale on a live stream for social media users to see.

Source: Chay_Tee/Shutterstock

Undoubtedly, there will be rises in car repossessions, evictions, theft, and homelessness. There will be a rise in incidences of crime from folks who are financially hurting and desperate. Historically, societies impacted by poverty are always more likely to be affected by crime.


A Timeline of the Looming TikTok Ban

So, when exactly will the TikTok ban go into effect? The timeline is a bit murky. Since the Senate doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to pass the bill on to Biden, Americans might not have anything to worry about for a while. If the Senate does choose to pass the bill, then Biden will definitely sign it. Once it’s signed, the Chinese government has 180 days to sell TikTok to an American buyer.

Man holds his iPhone up in front of a cloudy sky to show off the TikTok logo on his phone screen.

Source: Pixabay

The Chinese government already revealed their opposition to the notion of a forced sale. Since Elon Musk purchased X, formally known as Twitter, some social media users are speculating that the Tesla CEO will make an offer. At least for now, it’s still possible for Americans to continue earning side hustle money on TikTok.