In 2016, ByteDance, a Chinese technology company, released a short format video app named TikTok, which later merged with musical.ly in August 2018. The app has now crossed the one billion active monthly users according to the official announcement and has grown 45% since July 2020.
Last year, the Trump government threatened to ban TikTok amid US-China tensions. After rejecting Microsoft’s proposal, the app then reached a deal with Oracle, which included moving users’ data for the US region to Oracle while keeping the rights to the original company, ByteDance. The app has also faced bans in several countries for objectionable content around the globe.
However, facing all these issues couldn’t stop the app from reaching the 1 billion active users mark globally. By January 2018, the company had 55 million uses around the globe. Later it became the most downloaded app on the app store, which skyrocketed numbers to 271 million by December 2018 and almost double (508 million) by the end of 2019. In July 2020, the company reported 689 million users, and now it has reached the one billion monthly active users mark.
It took Instagram 8 years to reach the 1 billion active users mark since its original launch and six years after Facebook acquired it. The social media giant Facebook reported 2.9 billion monthly active users as of June 2021.
The app has surged during the pandemic and has seen massive popularity among teens around the globe. In addition, social media giants have also copied the short video format, such as Instagram with Reels, YouTube with YouTube Shorts, Snapchat with Spotlight, and LinkedIn with its upcoming short video feature.
As of July 2021, TikTok has more than 3 billion downloads. Owned by ByteDance, a China-based company, TikTok’s biggest markets are the United States, Brazil, Europe, and Southeast Asia.
Update: Added official announcement and a Tweet