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US election 2024: Joe Biden joins TikTok to reach younger audience

Mr Biden’s TikTok account has 90,000 followers (AP)
Mr Biden’s TikTok account has 90,000 followers (AP)

US President Joe Biden’s 2024 presidential campaign has joined TikTok, despite the social media app being banned on most US government devices over security concerns.

The BBC reported that his campaign launched its account with the username "@bidenhq" during the Super Bowl on Sunday.

In a launch video, captioned "lol hey guys", aides asked Mr Biden about his thoughts on the game the Kansas City Chiefs eventually won 25-22 in overtime against the San Francisco 49ers.

TIME reported the account will be run by Mr Biden’s campaign staff alongside other accounts on X, Threads, Facebook, and Truth Social.

At the time of writing, Mr Biden’s TikTok account has 89,500 followers, and his first video has been viewed more than seven million times.

Explaining the move, Mr Biden’s advisers said: "The campaign will continue meeting voters where they are, innovating to create content that will resonate with critical audiences and the core constituencies that make up the president’s diverse and broad coalition of voters."

They added that they "are taking advanced safety precautions around our devices and incorporating a sophisticated security protocol to ensure security”.

Owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, TikTok had faced scrutiny from US lawmakers and government officials over concerns about its handling of user data and its potential ties to the Chinese government (PA)
Owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, TikTok had faced scrutiny from US lawmakers and government officials over concerns about its handling of user data and its potential ties to the Chinese government (PA)

TikTok reported to Congress in January that 170 million Americans used the app for short videos, compared with 150 million a year earlier.

Mr Biden’s presidential campaign has prioritised social media interactions and intimate gatherings with him to connect with voters who don’t follow conventional media — especially Gen Z ones.

Furthermore, the White House and the campaign have increased their social media influencers approach to help the president spread his message.

Campaign officials are reportedly implementing security protocols and taking extreme security measures to guarantee safety. However, they did not specify these or say whether the information was intended to safeguard voter or campaign data.

Federal employees are prohibited from using the app on government devices under a limited ban that was included in legislation signed by Mr Biden in late 2022.

Owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, TikTok had faced scrutiny from US lawmakers and government officials over concerns about its handling of user data and its potential ties to the Chinese government.

TikTok has maintained that it would not share US user data with the Chinese government. It has also taken substantial measures to protect the privacy of its users.