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Griffin Johnson
via TikTok (@imgriffinjohnson)

Is Triller the new TikTok? The rival app taking TikTok’s biggest stars

The LA-based video sharing app has shot to number one in the app store in 50 countries

After months of TikTok controversy, a number of the video platform’s most popular creators have announced their move to rival platform Triller.

Last week, Josh Richards, Griffin Johnson, Noah Beck, and Anthony Reeves announced they were leaving TikTok, citing security and privacy concerns.

The creators, who rose to fame as members of TikTok collective Sway House, are asking their combined following of 50 million followers to join them on Triller. According to the Los Angeles Times, Josh Richards, who has 251,800 followers on Triller, will now act as chief strategy officer. Noah Beck, Griffin Johnson, and Anthony Reeves have signed on as investors and equity shareholders. Nevertheless, all four creators have continued to post on TikTok after announcing their Triller deal.

The LA-based “music video maker app” has shot to number one in the app store in 50 countries as of today (August 3), including the US, Australia, France, Britain, and Italy. Similar to TikTok, the app lets you record yourself lip-syncing or performing a song – the main difference is the platform’s editing algorithm that edits videos for you using “intelligent audio and facial analysis to decide when to cut”.

TikTokers Dixie D’Amelio, who has 32 million followers, and Addison Rae, who has 53.3 million followers, both uploaded videos urging users to follow them on Instagram and YouTube instead.

The turn towards Triller follows reports of Donald Trump announcing plans to ban TikTok in America. On August 1, the US president told reporters on board the presidential plane Air Force One that he could sign an executive order to ban the Chinese-owned app, saying: “As far as TikTok is concerned, we're banning them from the United States.”

The reported move supports concerns from US security officials who claim the app is being used by its China-based owners to mine personal data from Americans, which ByteDance – a Beijing-based tech company – has denied. In a statement last week, TikTok representatives said: “Protecting the privacy of our users’ data is of the utmost importance to TikTok. We have not, and would not, give it to the Chinese government.”

India has already banned TikTok from the beginning of July, in a blanket ban of 59 smartphone apps that also included the popular messaging app WeChat. Lawmakers in Japan are currently pushing to ban the app, while politicians in Australia are considering similar measures.