TikTok announced on Monday that it had reached one billion monthly users. It’s an impressive number for a platform that debuted in August 2018 and has been probed by governments, notably the United States, concerned about its parent firm, Beijing-based ByteDance’s data gathering tactics.
During the epidemic, TikTok’s popularity exploded, with the app being the most downloaded app in the globe in the first quarter of 2020, according to app analytics firm SensorTower, with 315 million downloads in that quarter alone.
According to reports, ByteDance’s income in 2020 will more than quadruple from the previous year, reaching $34.3 billion. SensorTower claims that TikTok has had 3.2 billion installs since its introduction, which includes data from Douyin, the Chinese version of the app. In August, TikTok’s monthly average users increased by 25% over August 2020. ByteDance was valued at $425 billion in June of this year.
In an attempt to replicate TikTok’s great popularity, other applications developed their own short-form video offerings. Last August, Facebook-owned Instagram launched Reels; in November, Snapchat launched its in-app TikTok clone Spotlight; and early this year, video juggernaut YouTube launched YouTube Shorts in the United States. TikTok, on the other hand, has continued to grow; according to research released earlier this month, TikTok users spend more time watching its material than YouTube users.
In a video on TikTok on Monday, TikTok chief operating officer Vanessa Pappas praised users for “making TikTok a genuinely special place.”
During a crackdown on tech firms by Chinese regulators in recent months, ByteDance reportedly postponed its plans for an initial public offering indefinitely. China is probing what it deems to be anti-competitive activities by its top tech companies, as well as how they manage sensitive client data.
Last year, the Trump administration targeted Chinese internet businesses like ByteDance and TikTok with a series of executive orders that barred their apps from US app stores. None of the directives were ever implemented, and in June, President Joe Biden signed an executive order rescinding the Trump administration’s bans. Biden has instructed the Commerce Secretary to look into apps that may collect sensitive data from US consumers and have ties to foreign foes like as China.
During the epidemic, however, TikTok witnessed several unique bright spots, the most notable of which was the fan-made, crowdsourced Ratatouille TikTok musical. It began as a one-off parody based on the 2007 Disney/Pixar film, which Broadway aficionados, composers, choreographers, and others contributed to one TikTok at a time. On January 1st, Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical debuted as a one-night-only streaming concert, generating more than $1 million for The Actors Fund, which helps entertainers and workers.