EASIEST WAY TO GROW YOUR TIKTOK ACCOUT ORGANICALLY IN 2020
TikTok Revenue and Usage Statistics (2020)
UPDATED: OCTOBER 30, 2020
TikTok, known as Douyin in its home market, was launched in China in September 2016. It was pushed out globally as TikTok the following year.
The TikTok app allows users to create 15 second videos, soundtracked by music clips. Sounds simple enough, but it’s a wildly popular concept. Depending on who you ask, the app was the world’s second-most or fourth-most downloaded non-gaming app of 2019 (only behind various Facebook entities in either case).
TikTok/Douyin parent company ByteDance also owns hugely popular Chinese AI-powered news aggregation platform Toutiao, created by CEO Zhang Yiming at the age of 29 in 2012. Notably, he was not backed by either Alibaba or Tencent. TikTok has succeeded where the latter failed with WeChat — success beyond China.
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This was a strategic triumph. In November 2017 ByteDance acquired the popular (also China-based) would-be rival app Musical.ly app for a reported $1 billion. TikTok was merged with Musical.ly in August 2018, with app users’ accounts migrated to their TikTok accounts. This was seen as a way for the Chinese app to enter the US market — with Musical.ly already boasting a considerable American audience.
TikTok/Douyin (and formerly Musical.ly) users use the app largely to create, share, and view content based around lip syncing, dancing, comedy skits, and other physical activities. Clearly, this is something that appeals to young people (and quite a few older ones) around the world, with app snowballing in popularity over 2018 and 2019. Despite only being released in 2016, it was one of the most-downloaded apps of the 2010s.
As of 2020, TikTok is one of the world’s best-loved apps (for those under a certain age at least), its success powered by some of the world’s most sophisticated AI.
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That said, it has not been without its controversies. In 2019, it was briefly banned in India for “morality issues”, with pornographic content and predatory behaviour a concern. It has been accused of not adequately safeguarding young users’ data. It was banned again in June 2020 alongside a spate of other Chinese-based apps as tensions between China and India heightened.
It is also being investigated in the US over national security concerns. ByteDance has released a transparency report to deal with these accusations, and has moved to ringfence TikTok from the rest of its operations. This not stop President Trump from issuing an executive order in August 2020 against any firms doing business with TikTok.
Nonetheless, as of early 2020, TikTok seems like the app to beat. Scroll on to read our collection of TikTok stats from around the web.
Table of Contents
Key TikTok Statistics
- TikTok MAUs estimated at 800 million
- TikTok downloaded 738 million times in 2019,
- Total TikTok downloads over 1.5 billion — making it the seventh-most downloaded app of the 2010s
- It is estimated that 57% of the TikTok/Douyin userbase is based in China
- India top market for TikTok downloads in 2019 (if we exclude Chinese Android downloads), with 323 million
- 46 million US TikTok downloads in 2019
- Only 9% of US internet users have used TikTok, with 5% more interested in using it; this rises to 49% for teenage users
- ByteDance reports 400 DAU of Douyin in China, and claim 68% of Chinese social media users/59% of smartphone users are Douyin users
- Musical.ly counted 100 million users at time of August 2018 merger with TikTok
- Singer Loren Gray is the most-followed person on TikTok, with close to 40 million followers
- On Douyin, the most-followed account belongs to actor, model, and singer Dilraba Dilmurat, with around 55 million followers
- Android TikTok users spent 68 billion hours using the app in 2019
- China accounts for eight out of every 10 minutes viewed on TikTok
- Average daily time on TikTok estimated at 45 minutes
- US users open TikTok an average of eight times a day, with sessions averaging just under 5 minutes
- Indian users spend 38 minutes daily using TikTok
- TikTok one-week retention rate stands at 26%
- A late 2018 Global Web Index study found 55% of TikTok users uploaded a video in the last month, compared to 68% who had watched one
- TikTok 2019 revenue came to $176.9 million (excluding non-iOS Chinese revenue)
- ByteDance controls 23% of the Chinese digital app market
- ByteDance became the world’s most highly-valued private startup, with a valuation of $78 billion after a SoftBank-led $3 billion investment round
TikTok User Statistics
TikTok is available in over 150 markets around the world, in 39 languages. The latest available official statistics show that there are 500 million TikTok users around the world (monthly active users).
The 500 million figure, however dates back to an official announcement in July 2018. ByteDance has not released anything more recent. We can assume that given its huge popularity, the figure is higher. In September 2019, TikTok VP Blake Chandlee suggested that while it was not up to 1 billion, it was not at half that level either.
Hootsuite and We Are Social have set the figure at 800 million. This would make it the sixth-most used social app in the world. Only the various Facebook properties, YouTube, and WeChat rank ahead of it. Notably it has leapfrogged Tencent’s QQ and QZone.
TikTok users vs. other major apps
Source: Hootsuite/We Are Social
App Annie’s State of Mobile 2020 gives us a ranking of apps according to user numbers, but no cold hard figures. This puts TikTok is sixth place in terms of global users — and the highest that doesn’t belong to Facebook or Tencent.
We know that Instagram in firth-place has 1 billion users. Alipay in eight, logged 785 million users in Q3 2019. This helps us to narrow the range somewhat, and chimes with what seems like a hint from Chandlee’s that TikTok’s user base is climbing up towards 1 billion.
Most-used apps of 2019, Android and iOS
Source: App Annie
It is estimated that 57% of the TikTok/Douyin userbase are based in China.
TikTok download statistics
We can speak with a bit more clarity on download statistics. These show us, unequivocally, that 2019 was TikTok’s year.
According to AppTrace, TikTok jumped from 269th to 4th in global app download rank in February 2019. It has remained in the top-20 since (as of February 2020), and currently sits in fourth position.
Sensor Tower stats reveals TikTok was downloaded over 738 million times globally in 2019. This is a significant increase on the 655 million downloads recorded in 2018. TikTok downloads crossed the 1.5 billion threshold in November 2019.
Download activity peaked in Q4, when the app was downloaded 219 million times. TikTok seems to show a pattern of rising downloads throughout the year. This pattern was somewhat disrupted in 2019 by virtue of what looks like an overspill of enthusiasm from the last quarter of 2018.
Up until the end of 2019, TikTok counts a total of 1.65 billion downloads. 2019 downloads account for 44% of the total downloads.
TikTok first-time downloads, Q2 2016 — Q4 2019
Source: Sensor Tower
India was the number one market for downloads in 2019 (only counting iOS App Store and Google Play Store downloads), with 323 million downloads, accounting for 44% of the total figure.
This is despite the fact that TikTok was in fact temporarily banned in the country, for two weeks in April 2019. Legislators believed the app would expose children to pornographic content, sexual predators, and cyberbullying.
TikTok managed to persuade the authorities that it had tightened regulations and the app duly found its way back onto the iOS App Store and Google Play Store. The ban cost the app an estimated 15 million new users in what looked set to be TikTok’s best month to up until that point in the South Asian mega nation.
The importance of the market to TikTok is clear. In October, it launched an education program in India — the first such initiative from the app. Certainly this suggests an app wanting to stay in a nation’s good books. It was banned again, however, in June 2020, with political tensions escalating between India and China.
Despite the fact that third-party Android downloads, which are not included in these figures, are by far the biggest channel for downloads in China, TikTok’s home market still logged around 52 million downloads (7% of the total). The US is in third with 6%, or 46 million.
A different set of TikTok statistics, from Priori Data, show slightly lower figures (though these stats go only as far as November 1st 2019). India still leads by some distance, logging 190.6 million downloads. The US, in second, logs 41 million TikTok downloads. This puts it someway ahead of the cluster of Turkey (23.2 million), Russia (19.9 million), and Pakistan (19.5 million).
A total of 44 countries are covered by these stats. It is unclear whether these include China.
Android downloads account for all but a sliver of download in most of these markets, with the exception of the US, where iPhone users predominate. In Russia there is a slightly higher preponderance of iOS users, albeit still a relatively insignificant proportion.
TikTok downloads by country, 2019
According to App Annie, TikTok was the top app in terms of download growth in 2019 in Canada and India, and came in second-place in the US and the UK.
Overall, TikTok ranked fourth in terms of global downloads. Only Facebook properties (Messenger, Facebook, and WhatsApp) were downloaded more often. These stats refer to the Google Play Store and iOS App Store — so will exclude most Chinese downloads, which are third-party Android.
Most-downloaded apps of 2019, iOS App Store and Google Play Store
Source: App Annie
We don’t get the full picture of just how big an impact TikTok has made, however, until we look at the most downloaded apps of the 2010s. TikTok, despite being only released in China in 2016, and internationally the year after, still somehow managed to be the seventh-most downloaded app across the 10-year period.
Again these figures won’t include Chinese third-party downloads — who knows how high TikTok might have featured if so (as might’ve some other Chinese apps, particularly WeChat).
Most-downloaded apps of 2010s, iOS App Store and Google Play Store
Source: App Annie
In the 2019 official iOS download chart, TikTok ranks fourth, with the chart limited to free apps.
TikTok was well on the way to global success over the course of 2018. Sensor Tower reported that 2018 downloads were in excess of the 444 million reported by Instagram. Total TikTok downloads crossed the 1 billion mark in early 2019.
According to this app download data, TikTok was the single most-downloaded non-game app on iOS in 2018, and the fourth-most downloaded on Android (Google Play Store only). Its overall global positioning reflects the latter, which accounts for a far greater percentage of users than the former.
Most-downloaded apps 2018
Source: Sensor Tower
TikTok in the US
In terms of TikTok’s US user base, Reuters reported a figure of 26.5 million in November 2019 — though this does perhaps seem a little bit on the low side.
On the other hand, it would chime with App Ape Lab’s figure of 10 million Android users the following month. This represents considerable growth in US Android TikTok users over the course of 2019, starting from a point just a little above 2.5 million.
Android TikTok users in the US, 2019
Source: App Ape Lab
Going back a little, the August 2018 merger with Musical.ly provided a substantial boost to active users of the platform — particularly in the US. Musical.ly, it should be noted was a hugely popular app, which had topped iOS free download charts in 19 countries and counted 100 million monthly active users. This was a clear part of TikTok’s strategy to grow its overseas userbase to over 50% of total users.
This was not just powered by pure excitement over new functionality for Musical.ly users; Apptopia reports a significant increase in advertising spend by ByteDance in the months following the merger (something not unnoticed by the online commentariat).
ByteDance advertising spend following TikTok/Musical.ly consolidation