TikTok hits one billion downloads

Anne Freier

In Mobile Advertising. March 1, 2019

TikTok, the app that lets users lip synch and record themselves to pop songs, has just reached a new milestone of one billion downloads. Figures provided by Sensor Tower show that the app is edging closer to Facebook in terms of app download lead.

Around 663 million downloads of the app were made in 2018.

The app is particularly prominent in Asia and was originally created by Chinese company ByteDance.

The milestone figure of one billion includes the TikTok lite app version and regional variations.

25% of downloads for the app have come from India, whilst its share of US users has grown steadily, but currently remains at a 9% install estimate for January.

Rising to the top doesn’t come without scrutiny though. In the same week as it reported hitting the one billion mark, the app was fined $5.7 million by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for collection information from children without parent consent.

The FTC alleges that TikTok violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

“The operators of Musical.ly—now known as TikTok—knew many children were using the app but they still failed to seek parental consent before collecting names, email addresses, and other personal information from users under the age of 13,” said Joe Simons chairman of the FTC. “This record penalty should be a reminder to all online services and websites that target children: We take enforcement of COPPA very seriously, and we will not tolerate companies that flagrantly ignore the law.”

TikTok had been aware of a significant number of parents’ complaints, so the FTC.