TikTok likes and views are broken for a few unknown portions of the video app’s user base this afternoon. The impacted users see a “zero” like calculating TikTok posts, including their own and people of other app users, also as “zero” views. The corporate has acknowledged the difficulty and says it’s performing on a fix, but declined to elucidate what was causing the matter.
The TikTok Support account skilled the matter at 2:43 PM ET, noting it had been working quickly to repair things. Then, it was posted again at 3:35 PM ET to mention a fix was ongoing.
The company said that users should soon see their app experience return to normal because the problem was resolved on the company’s end.
While typically a bug like this isn’t much cause for concern — online apps do break, once in a while — the matter with TikTok comes at a time when the app is under attack within the U.S. for its ties to China.
This week, reports emerged that the U.S. was considering banning TikTok and other Chinese-owned social media apps, consistent with statements made by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. TikTok has already been banned in India, alongside 58 other Chinese apps, for similar reasons.
Today, The Wall Street Journal reported that executives at TikTok parent ByteDance are considering changing the corporate structure of TikTok’s business or establishing a headquarters for the company outside of China, in order to distance TikTok from China further and therefore the potential for the app being compromised by Chinese authorities. This is often not the first time such discussions have taken place.
In this context, the problems around Like counts were seen by some users today as a sign that a ban was imminent. But that’s not the case.
A few users theorized TikTok was making some change to its algorithms, because their “For You” page appeared not to reflect their interests when Like counts returned. But this is often impossible to verify at this point.
The news of TikTok’s demise within the U.S., however, has concerned the TikTok community. As a result, they’ve already begun fleeing to rival apps like Byte, Dubsmash and Likee within the U.S. Byte, for instance, jumped from No. 210 in Social Networking within the U.S. App Store on July 5 to No. 1 in Social and No. 1 Overall as of today, because of an exodus of primarily Gen Z TikTok users.
Update 8:49 PM ET: TikTok says the matter is resolved.
A spokesperson also offered the subsequent comment:
“Earlier today, a number of our users experienced app issues around notifications, the display of likes and considered counts, and trouble loading videos on some pages of the app. The problems appear to have been caused by higher traffic than normal on our servers in Virginia, causing temporary service disruptions. We’ve resolved the matter and are investigating the cause, and can share updates as they become available.”