Trump joins TikTok: Guess how many followers he attracted in less than a day

Trump had tried to ban the app when he was the president in 2020

Trump joins TikTok (L) TikTok logo, (R) Former President Donald Trump at the UFC 302 mixed martial arts event | Reuters/ AP

Former United States president Donald Trump has joined TikTok, the popular video-sharing app that he once tried to ban. He had attracted 3 million followers rapidly in less than a day since joining the app. 

He had tried to ban the app on grounds of national security. Trump's decision will help the former president reach younger voters in his third bid for the White House. 

Though Joe Biden has already signed a bill to ban the app, his election campaign is in TikTok, which is used by 170 million US citizens, with over 3,40,000 followers. 

Trump made his appearance in the app with the address @realdonaldtrump on Saturday. His launch video had crossed over 56 million views. The video showed Trump greeting fans at an Ultimate Fighting Championship fight in New Jersey. "It's an honour," Trump said in the TikTok video

"Will use every tool available to speak directly with the American people," said Trump's spokesman Steven Cheung in a statement. 

"There's no place better than a UFC event to launch President Trump's Tik Tok, where he received a hero's welcome and thousands of fans cheered him on," he added.

FBI and other officials had warned that TikTok, owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, could share user data such as browsing history, location and biometric identifiers with China's government. 

Banning the platform was a hot topic of debate during the 2024 GOP primary campaign as well. Trump attempted to ban the app in 2020 when he was the president but was blocked by the courts. 

The legislation signed by Biden gives ByteDance nine months to sell the company, with a possible additional three months if a sale is in progress. If it doesn't, TikTok will be banned. Biden barred the app on most government devices in December 2022.

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