Searches for ‘Tik Tok banned’ up 488%, according to Google Trends

TikTok has come under serious scrutiny in recent weeks, being banned from UK and US government devices, among others.

Domains and hosting provider Fasthosts used Google Trends to investigate how current events have affected search trends in the past month. From researching why these bans have taken place, to deleting the app themselves, the way the public views TikTok has seen massive changes. Let’s dive into the data.

By far the term that has seen the highest increase in searches in the past month is “is TikTok banned?”, seeing an increase of 488% when compared to the same period last month. “TikTok ban” followed closely behind with a rise of 456%.

Considering it was mid-February when the bans first came into force a rise was certainly expected, even more so considering the popularity of the app. Of course, people would flock to Google as soon as they hear that it’s starting to be banned, but it’s still an impressive increase nonetheless.

In the same vein, searches for “why is TikTok banned?” have jumped by 130%, with people turning to Google to try and clear up confusion between the conflicting opinions. While a smaller increase compared to the previous two terms, it does imply users are more concerned with the ban occurring and how it will affect their use of the app rather than the hows and whys of the bans occurring in the first place.

Security focus

It’s not just people looking to find out if TikTok has been banned and why either, as searches for “TikTok security” have also risen by 32%, as users try to investigate the issues themselves. Concerns around data collection and privacy have been the main factor in the bans coming into force, and even though these concerns have been disputed by the Chief Executive of TikTok recently, these repeated affirmations of safety haven’t quelled worries quite yet.

And how about those who have already taken the concerns to heart and are looking to leave the app? “Delete TikTok” has seen a rise of 18%, while searches for “delete TikTok account” have increased by 32% – which is not insignificant, considering the 5.2 million average searches for TikTok-related queries every month. 

Obviously this doesn’t translate directly into a similar amount of users leaving the platform, though it’s important to bear in mind that for many who want to leave the platform they won’t be searching up how to do it.

By far the highest increase for searches in this vein is “get rid of TikTok”, which has jumped by 111% since last month. Searches for this term present you with endless guides telling you how to and why you should delete your account and the app.

TikTok is obviously one of the largest entertainment apps available, and once again saw itself as the most downloaded app of 2022 and so won’t see its downfall from these searches alone. But a picture is painted of an increasingly concerned user base who are constantly being presented with a plethora of other options to turn to. 

Chris Price