BYU scholar commandeers BYU’s TikTok deal with
Usually, searching for a college name on TikTok will lead you to a university managed account. However, if you search Brigham Young University on TikTok, you actually get to communications major Hannah Anderson’s personal account.
BYU student Hannah Anderson caught the attention of the BYU Trademark Office and nearly 2 million other viewers after one of her videos went viral on TikTok.
“I created my TikTok about two years ago, I needed a username and thought it would be fun to do it @brighamyounguniversity. And then I did that one video and it blew up, ”said Anderson.
And it exploded, reaching 1.8 million views and 314,000 likes.
Anderson said she was surprised to see how many people had seen her video. “I definitely didn’t think it would attract any attention when I did it. My TikTok is not popular, I think I only had 400 followers, ”she said.
BYU’s social media team was part of the 1.8 million viewers and has decided to petition for possession of the handle. “Your social media team reached out to me and said, ‘Hey, you should probably change this before we have to deal with branding and licensing,'” she said.
Anderson kept her TikTok followers informed of the situation, posted follow-up videos of how they were in the news, had the branding department contact her, and changed her username so TikTok wouldn’t delete her account. But she created a second account with the Brigham Young University username so she can still own it.
As a communication student, Hannah took advantage of the situation and turned it into a learning opportunity.
“I reached out to my media law professor and asked him all of these questions. I’m still not 100% sure if it’s a copyright infringement, my professor didn’t seem to believe it, but I’m still waiting to hear from TikTok and the BYU Trademark Office, ”she said.
While waiting to hear from the university, Anderson hopes the situation can end on a positive note. They even offered to keep the account for BYU if they accept the username.
“I would definitely be interested in keeping the official BYU account for you. I actually work as a social media manager, so I love TikTok, love doing social media stuff, and I love BYU, ”she said. Anderson plans to meet with the BYU Trademark Office later this week.