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Exclusive: The D’Amelio Family on a TikTok Ban, Potentially Buying the Platform and Migrating to New Channels

The D'Amelio family

The D’Amelio family may have gotten their start on TikTok, but the social media stars have spread their influence to a variety of platforms and ventures.

Now, the platform that catapulted the D’Amelio empire is currently facing a potential ban from U.S. officials who fear that it could give the Chinese government access to sensitive user data. ByteDance, a Chinese company, owns TikTok. And on Wednesday, Montana governor Greg Gianforte signed a bill banning TikTok, making it the first state to do so.

While the D’Amelio family said they rely on TikTok less these days than they did in 2020, they told FN in an exclusive interview that they’d be sad to see the platform go.

“You can’t forget where you came from and TikTok is a very important part of our story,” said Charli, who has more than 150 million followers on TikTok, making her the second most followed person on the platform. “I think if it were to go away it would be really sad. Maybe we don’t use TikTok as much, but it is the reason that we’re here doing this.”

Since going viral in 2019 for posting dancing and lip sync videos to TikTok from her bedroom, Charli, 19, has partnered with brands like Dunkin’ and Prada and won the latest season of “Dancing With the Stars.” Older sister Dixie, 21, has also ridden the viral wave, launching a music career and a brand endorsement empire of her own. And in 2021, both sisters launched their own clothing line with Hollister, Social Tourist.

Charli added that she thinks it is important for creators to broaden their reach in different channels to give people the content they are interested in. She currently has more than 47 million followers on Instagram and more than 5 million followers on Twitter.

Marc said he has explored the possibility of purchasing TikTok with a group of investors, but also sees diversifying from the platform as important.

“I remember people going viral on Vine, and then all of a sudden, it disappeared. So we definitely look to expand through other platforms and other areas,” Marc, their father said. “We didn’t want to keep our eggs all in one basket.”

Under their latest venture, D’Amelio Brands, the family will develop and launch a series of products under their name, starting with footwear launching this June. The new venture will provide a more stable source of revenue than endorsement deals and will give the family more control over the brands they promote. This diversification will also help keep the family from becoming too tethered to increasingly unstable world of social media.

“At the end of the day, they are a part of a family business, and if they don’t want to do social media, they can always fall back on that,” mother Heidi said.

Separately, the family also invests in new companies with its $25 million VC fund, 444 Capital and stars on their own Hulu reality series, The D’Amelio Show, which is currently in production for its third season.

Dixie, who has more than 57 million followers on TikTok, had a different outlook on the potential TikTok ban, as an avid consumer of the app.

“The only reason it makes me nervous is because what am I going to spend all my time on my phone watching?,” said Dixie. “It stresses me out more as a viewer than as a creator because I love TikTok so much. I spend so much time on the app being a viewer.”

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The D'Amelio Family Talks TikTok Ban and Migrating to New Channels
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