TikTok clocks 1 billion monthly active users

The popular social media app has hit 1 billion monthly active users

TikTok logo on a smartphone                                 
Social media platform TikTok has hit 1 billion monthly active users – Photo: Shutterstock

Video-sharing social media platform TikTok has announced that it has hit 1 billion monthly active users, it confirmed in a company statement.

The ByteDance-owned app originally launched as Douyin in China, and was released to an international audience in 2018 after merging with the Chinese social music app Musical.ly. 

The company reported around 55 million global users by January 2018, according to Reuters. That figure grew to more than 271 million by December 2018, 508 million by December 2019 and 689 million by July 2020. 

The US, Europe, Brazil and Southeast Asia are the biggest markets for the app.

Surge in global demand despite backlash

TikTok witnessed phenomenal growth in users during the pandemic as it became the most downloaded app in the first quarter of 2020. By October 2020, the app had been downloaded more than 2 billion times globally. 

It’s popularity, which is based around sharing bite-size video content that spans between 15 seconds and three minutes, inadvertently forced competitors such as Instagram, Snapchat and even YouTube to re-evaluate how they interact with their users.

As a result, Instagram launched its Reels platform in August 2020, allowing users to share 15-second multiclip videos with audio and effects within the app. YouTube launched YouTube Shorts, a new short-form video experience and Snapchat launched Spotlight. 

Despite ongoing backlash from regulators over the platform’s use of data and former US President Trump threatening to ban the app in the US, TikTok turned to potential acquisition deals with Microsoft and Oracle. A few months after the initial acquisition talks were reported, Microsoft announced it was out of the running after parent company ByteDance rejected its offer for Oracle, although that deal still remains to be completed.

“We are confident our proposal would have been good for TikTok’s users, while protecting national security interests,” Microsoft confirmed in a statement.

Further reading: Pakistan lifts ban on TikTok

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