Despite roadblocks, TikTok continues to grow in popularity, and rather rapidly. It overtook Facebook as the world’s most downloaded app last month. The ultra-popular short-form video-sharing app has now crossed one billion monthly active users (MAU), the company has announced.
TikTok Chief Operating Officer (COO) Vanessa Pappas Monday shared a video thanking users “a billion” for making the platform “a truly special place.”
The company also published a blog post announcing the milestone achievement. “We’re honored to be a home for our immensely diverse community of families, small businesses, and creators who transform into our favorite stars,” TikTok said in the blog post. “Thank you for making this journey so special.”
TikTok hits one billion monthly active users globally
TikTok, a privately held company owned by China’s ByteDance, became available globally in 2017. It merged with another Chinese social media service, Musical.ly, in August 2018 and there has been no looking back since. As of December 2018, the app had already crossed 271 million MAUs across the world. The number almost doubled to 507 million a year later. The company reported 700 MAUs in August 2020. It has now crossed a billion users.
The number may still look paltry in front of Facebook’s family of apps, which reportedly crossed 3.5 billion MAUs in the second quarter this year. However, that combines users of the main Facebook app, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Moreover, TikTok is far newer than any of these services.
TikTok’s overwhelming success inspired many existing and new social media apps to copy its service, including Facebook which added a similar short-form video service Reels to Instagram earlier this year. Snapchat and YouTube also launched their respective TikTok clones in recent months. Not to mention, there are now numerous such short-form video-sharing apps available in app stores.
This success hasn’t come easy to TikTok though. The company has had to face multiple roadblocks across the world. The app is completely banned in India, the world’s second-most populous country and TikTok’s biggest market. The US government also mulled banning the app last year, with then-President Donald Trump deeming the Chinese company a national security threat. He wanted TikTok to be sold to an American company to continue operating in the country.
TikTok had even reached some sort of deal with Oracle that would keep it afloat in the US. However, the newly-formed Biden administration hasn’t followed through with the preceding government’s efforts. As such, TikTok will continue operating as normal in the US for the foreseeable future.