Unsurprisingly social apps remain the most downloaded apps across Android and iOS platforms. This is because social apps have been proven to bring about authentic conversations, helping people establish better relationships and gives room for networking opportunities. It is not just a sale or marketing tool. For the longest time, Facebook was the most popular of them all recording millions of users yearly. However, despite only being around since 2017, the Chinese short video app TikTok has just overtaken Zuckerberg’s Facebook as the world’s most downloaded app.
TikTok is a video-sharing social networking service owned by a Chinese company, ByteDance. The social media platform helps users make a variety of short interesting videos, from dance, comedy, and education. These short videos have a duration from fifteen seconds to three minutes. TikTok is believed to have more than one billion users worldwide including more than 100 million active users in the United States. The social app is particularly popular with young smartphone users.
The video-sharing app – TikTok has jumped three places from its 2019 ranking to displace Facebook’s popular messaging app and WhatsApp in the latest ranking. TikTok recorded over 310 million downloads within the first quarter of the year. Even though Facebook has been displaced by the Chinese social app – TikTok, Facebook still performed well in the rankings. While Facebook Messenger dropped from 1 to 5, Facebook and WhatsApp maintained their second and third spots while Instagram climbed one spot to emerge 4th on the list.
Other social apps with impressive rankings on the list include Snapchat which jumped from 7th to 6th and Telegram which climbed from 8th to 7th. Microblogging platform, Twitter fell to 10th place on the list. By April of last year, the app had amassed over 2billion downloads globally. Initially, this app was seen as a Gen Z space only, but it has since witnessed an influx of new users outside of that demography due to worldwide lockdown measures.
TikTok owner ByteDance faced intense scrutiny from Donald Trump and the US authorities until US President Joe Biden in June revoked executive orders from his predecessor seeking to ban TikTok and Chinese-owned WeChat from the US markets on national security concerns. Biden ordered a review of the potential risks of foreign-owned internet services. While these political debates about the video-sharing app roiled, TikTok climbed places to land on the number 1 spot as most download app in the world according to App Annie data. While on the way, TikTok stepped over Facebook and two of the US internet giant’s texting apps Messenger and WhatsApp, the market tracker determined. In June 2020, TikTok was banned in India, the world’s second-most populous country, at the very height of its popularity. At the time, TikTok was aiming to reach 120 million users, a figure that put the app ahead of Instagram, Snapchat, and other platforms in the country.
Even though there are still so many unanswered questions regarding data privacy practices and how popular social platforms abuse them, these factors haven’t stopped many millions of people from downloading and enjoying the social app and its addictive content. It’s still number one even if we take a closer look at US download numbers, which is quite a feat for such a new and controversial app.