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Politics Foreign Affairs Culture Fellows Program

Farage and Trump Take TikTok By Storm

State of the Union: Both politicians have found a new way to appeal to younger voters ahead of key elections.
Trump with Farage
Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The New Right has never been bigger… on TikTok. 

Nigel Farage is raking in millions of views and approaching 700,000 followers on the platform as his political challengers struggle to make similar inroads. The Labour Party as a whole has less than 200,000 followers and the Tories have barely mustered 60,000.

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Donald Trump, who only joined the platform on June 1st, has more than 6 million followers, far outpacing President Biden’s campaign page which only sports 375,000 (Biden does not own a personal TikTok.)

Trump’s first two videos were star-studded affairs. First, UFC chief Dana White introduced the former president before Kid Rock’s music blasted over the speakers and a montage of Trump’s appearance at UFC 302 played on the screen. That short clip earned the president more than 125 million views on the platform. 

Two weeks passed before Trump posted another high-profile romp, this time with influencer Logan Paul. The two men stare menacingly at each other, pretending to square off before a boxing match. That clip is approaching 100 million views on the app in less than 48 hours. 

Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci criticized Trump following the unexpected appearances. The Trump-critic couldn’t help but note that Trump had spent much of his time in office lobbying for an outright ban of the very platform he was now embracing: “And at the spur of the moment, if it serves his personal interests, forget about the country. It’s got to serve his personal interest. He’ll flip on a dime.”

Though his presence on the platform runs counter to prior policy positions, even Scaramucci couldn’t help but praise Trump’s “good political instincts” by joining the viral video platform, which saw downloads near 1 billion in 2023 alone.

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Whatever qualms American conservatives hold with the app, Farage and Trump’s presence on the app is a sobering reality of the power and bandwidth of TikTok. The Chinese-owned and operated social media hub was the most downloaded app in the world between 2018 and 2022.

Farage has had no such ideological misgivings to clean up with the platform and his profile on the app is growing rapidly by the day. There was Farage on Friday, smiling for the camera and singing Eminem, going viral in an environment once reserved only for dance videos and the forming grounds of youthful, left-wing political movements. 

In another viral hit shared by GB News broadcaster Darren Grimes, Farage gives a powerful speech on the decline of Britain overtop a down-pitched electronic track before a series of Farage’s most electric moments fill the screen. The video has more than 1 million views on TikTok (and nearly 300,000 on one X post alone.)

Reform UK press officer Matt Stevens told POLITICO that party officials were caught off guard with the recent success:

When we first went on to TikTok our views weren’t too good—but as we've grown as a party nationwide, the views have rocketed way ahead of any other platform and that's surprised us because the demographic on TikTok is predominantly 15-to-24 year olds.

As one young staffer in that key demographic at The American Conservative put it: “Farage and Trump edits = Kino.” The numbers certainly back up that assertion. In an era where geriatric politicians seek desperately to connect with the youth vote, Farage and Trump have never been more meme-able.