TikTok, known as Douyin in its home market, was launched in China in September 2016. It quickly started to gain traction in China and parent company ByteDance launched an international version the following year.
Originally launched as a short-form video sharing platform, primarily for lipsyncing and dancing videos, TikTok has grown into a fully-fledged video service, with content available for all types of viewers.
ByteDance had prior experience on running wildly popular apps, as the operator of AI-powered news aggregation platform Toutiao. Zhang Yiming, the founder and CEO of ByteDance, incorporated a similar AI-platform into TikTok, which is able to identify a user’s interests and feed them more relevant videos.
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While many Chinese apps have failed to succeed outside of China, most notably Tencent’s WeChat, TikTok managed to push itself into the overseas market through the acquisition of Musical.ly in November 2017 for $1 billion. This added 80 million users, mostly in the US, which TikTok then imported to its own platform.
From there, TikTok snowballed into the most popular app in 2019 and 2020. It was downloaded 693 million times in 2019 and 850 million times in 2020. Even though it only launched in 2017, TikTok was the seventh-most downloaded app of the 2010s, and looks to be a true competitor against Facebook’s grip on social networking in the West.
Even with this stellar growth, TikTok has faced several controversies. In 2019, India and Pakistan banned it for “morality issues”, with both bans being rescinded after a while. India banned the app again in June 2020, along with a spate of other Chinese-based apps, as tensions between China and India heightened.
India upheld the ban in January 2021, which has led to several other TikTok-clones taking over market share in the country. TikTok also faced having to sell its operations in the US to a holding company, which would have been controlled by Walmart and Oracle. However, President Trump’s executive order has been canned by the Biden Administration.
Even with the slowdown in downloads due to India’s ban and both Facebook and Snapchat launching clones of TikTok, the app remains one of the fastest growing in the world. It is expected to surpass 1 billion monthly active users by the end of 2021.
We have collected data and statistics on TikTok. Read on below to find out more.
TikTok key statistics
- TikTok generated an estimated $4.6 billion revenue in 2021, a 142% increase year-on-year
- TikTok had 1.2 billion monthly active users in Q4 2021 and is expected to reach 1.8 billion by the end of 2022
- In China, TikTok is accessed by over 600 million users daily
- TikTok has been downloaded over three billion times
|Title 1||Title 2|
|Launch date||September 2016 (China); September 2017 (International)|
|People||Liang Rubo (ByteDance CEO), Shouzi Chew (TikTok CEO), Vanessa Pappas (TikTok COO)|
|Business type||Private, subsidiary|
TikTok has rapidly increased its revenue generation in the past few years. In 2021, it generated $4.6 billion, a 142% increase year-on-year.
TikTok quarterly revenues 2017 to 2022 ($mm)
TikTok annual revenues 2017 to 2021 ($mm)
Source: TikTok Report
TikTok reached one billion users in the third quarter of 2021 and is expected to reach 1.8 billion by the end of 2022.
TikTok quarterly users 2018 to 2022 (mm)
TikTok annual users 2018 to 2021 (mm)
Note: Values are monthly active users in Q2 of the respective year. Source: TikTok Report
TikTok users by region
TikTok has high amounts of usage in all regions and has over 300 million users in Asia-Pacific region, which does not include China and India.
TikTok annual users by region 2018 to 2021 (mm)
|Date||Asia Pacific||North America||Europe||LatAm||MENA|
Source: TikTok Report
Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, has over 700 million daily active users and is one of the most popular apps in the country.
Douyin annual daily active users 2017 to 2021 (mm)
TikTok was the most downloaded app in 2020 and 2021 and peaked at 318 million downloads in Q1 2020, a record for quarterly downloads outside of China.
TikTok quarterly downloads 2017 to 2022 (mm)
TikTok cumulative downloads 2017 to 2021 (mm)
Sources: Apptopia, Data.ai
TikTok age demographics
A majority of TikTok users are aged under 30, with the largest age bracket aged between 20 and 20 years old.
TikTok worldwide age demographics 2021 (%)
|Age bracket||Percentage of users|
TikTok gender demographics
TikTok is used by more women than men, but that gap is closing as it loses its stigma for being an app for teenagers and dancing.
TikTok worldwide gender demographics 2021 (%)
|Gender||Percentage of users|
TikTok vs social apps: users
Want to learn more about social apps? Check out our Social App Report
What is TikTok’s global internet penetration?
TikTok is used by 18% of global internet users aged 16 to 64 (GlobalWebIndex)
What countries is TikTok most popular in?
Outside of China, TikTok’s largest markets are the US, Indonesia and Brazil
How many users did TikTok have in India before it was banned?
TikTok had 190 million users in India, making it the app’s second largest market behind China
How many times has TikTok been downloaded?
TikTok reached 3 billion downloads in June 2021. It was the seventh-most downloaded app of the 2010s (Data.ai)
What is TikTok’s peak quarterly downloads?
TikTok had 315 million downloads in Q1 2020, which is a record for quarterly downloads not including Chinese third-party app stores (SensorTower)
What is TikTok’s rating?
TikTik was the most positively reviewed app in the US in 2020, with 88% positive reviews (SensorTower)
How many marketers plan to use TikTok?
14% of marketers plan to up their spend in 2021 (HubSpot), however only 3% see it as the most effective social media channel (CivicScience)
What is TikTok’s valuation?
TikTok was valued at $50 billion by investors in 2020 (Reuters)
What is ByteDance’s valuation?
ByteDance was last valued at $180 billion, however trading in private markets has exceeded $350 billion (SCMP)
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