BILLINGS — Less than two years ago, Kylie Nelson first posted on TikTok. Now, she has more than 200,000 followers and makes a living from social media.
But as the new law banning the popular social media app looms in Montana, Nelson does not know what her future holds for using the app.
Nelson is a mid-sized fashion influencer helping women on social media with their confidence. Her popularity has earned her paychecks on the app. Nelson said 70% of her brand deals come from TikTok.
“TikTok’s my biggest following. So, brands typically want to work with your biggest most engaged audience, and that’s TikTok for me,” she said. “I’ve been able to reach hundreds of thousands of women through that to help them find their confidence through their closet.”
Montana made history by being the first state to fully ban TikTok. The law is set to start in January 2024 but is currently being challenged in court.
If Montana's ban goes forward, it will take effect on January 1, 2024.
People will not be penalized for or prevented from using TikTok on their devices, but app stores like those run by Apple or Google, or any other platform that offers apps for download, will face fines of $10,000 per day if they make TikTok available for download.
Nelson said the banning of the app is a scary thing to think about - but it's also something she is prepared for.
“This is such a good reminder for content creators to not put all your eggs in one basket, because we don’t own these platforms and they can get taken away at any point,” she said. “So I’m just going to keep showing up on all platforms, and worst-case scenario if it does fall through, then I’ll just have to focus on all the other platforms.”
Nelson also posts on her Instagram daily, started a new podcast, maintains a blog and provides social media coaching.
But she said it would be hard to lose the large and meaningful community that she has on TikTok.
“I’ve put my heart and my soul into building this page for women to be able to come to, to get that reminder to give themselves grace and confidence,” she said.
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