Chinese short-form video creation app TikTok has taken the Indian internet by storm in the last 12 months. The country accounts for nearly half of TikTok downloads in 2019.
TikTok is a popular video-based social media platform developed by Bytedance who are Chinese developers. The app is one of the most popular social media platforms throughout the globe which enables its users to create short comedy, lip-sync, and talent videos.
According to the latest reports, a Mobile intelligence firm, Sensor Tower, revealed that the social media app, TikTok, has passed more than 1.5 billion downloads across the iOS App Store and Google Play Store worldwide. This year alone, the app has been downloaded 614 million times, which is 6% more than it had the same time last year, according to the survey.
In terms of its status in the rankings, Sensor Tower estimates that the social video app is currently the third most downloaded non-gaming app of the year, which is pretty remarkable when we look at the surrounding apps. WhatsApp is at No. 1 and Messenger at No. 2, according to the firm. While Facebook and Instagram rank in fourth and fifth place, respectively.
Essentially, TikTok is the only app in the top five that isn’t owned by Facebook. And what Sensor Tower’s survey seems to be hinting at is that Facebook’s seemingly impenetrable grip on the social media landscape is finally starting to somewhat weaken.
What’s even more striking is that TikTok was launched just three years ago in 2016. Since then, TikTok has many tools that have helped to grow it’s platform to what it has become.
Looking at where Tik Tok’s user numbers are coming from, worldwide, India and China hold the top spots. India leads the pack with a bit over 466 million downloads of TikTok on the App Store and Google Play, the report says. Whereas China ranks second for most downloads, at over 173 million, though according to Sensor Tower, that number doesn’t include installs from third-party Android stores considering a huge number of people rely on these stores within the country. The US sits in third place at just over 123 million downloads.
Looking at just this year alone, users in India generated 277.6 million downloads which represent 45% of the global installs. When it has been downloaded 45.5 million times in China which represents 7.4% of the global installs.
Interestingly, TikTok’s revenues are also on the rise. During its entire existence, it’s estimated that the app has earned $175 million worldwide via the App Store and Google Play Store.
In 2019, lifetime user spend on the app has hit $175 million worldwide across the App Store and Google Play Store. This is largely driven by Chinese users, who have spent $84.5 million on TikTok, 48.3% of all revenue. The US ranked second accounting for $62.4 million (35.7%) of TikTok’s revenues, while the UK stood at No. 3 with $6.9 million (3.9%).
And believe it or not, a massive $115.3 million of the $175 million was earned this year alone.
Facebook has made calculated efforts to mimic TikTok’s success.
In 2016, Zuckerberg spent six months trying to acquire Musical.ly, a startup based out of Shanghai and headquartered in Santa Monica, California; the app which would become TikTok. However, in November 2017, Bytedance, TikTok’s parent company spent $ 1 billion and acquired Musical.ly.
Come August 2, 2018, TikTok officially replaced Musical.ly, and since then the app has received immense competition with other apps offering similar features like Helo and Likee (Formerly Like).
After failing to acquire Tik Tok, in November 2018 Facebook launched a standalone video-sharing app called Lasso and leaked audio from an internal meeting showed that CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s strategy was to introduce Lasso in markets where TikTok did not yet have a niche, such as Mexico.