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.
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 U.S., 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 In 2019, India and Pakistan banned it for “morality issues”, with both bans being rescinded after a while.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 U.S. 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 $1.9 billion revenue in 2020, a 457% increase year-on-year
- TikTok had 837 million monthly active users in Q2 2020 and is expected to reach 1 billion by Q4 2020
- In China, TikTok is accessed by over 600 million users daily
- TikTok has been downloaded over three billion times
|Launch date||September 2016 (China); September 2017 (International)|
|People||Zhang Yiming (ByteDance CEO), Shouzi Chew (TikTok CEO), Vanessa Pappas (COO, TikTok)|
|Business type||Private, subsidiary|
Source: TikTok Report
TikTok annual users
Note: Values are monthly active users in Q2 of the respective year
Source: TikTok Report
TikTok users by region
|Year||South-East Asia||North America||LATAM||Europe|
|2018||62 million||28 million||3 million||21 million|
|2019||130 million||55 million||10 million||52 million|
|2020||198 million||105 million||64 million||98 million|
Source: TikTok Report
TikTok cumulative downloads
TikTok age demographics
|Age||Percentage of users|
Note: These are global values. Individual country demographics are available in the TikTok Report
Source: App Ape
TikTok gender demographics
|Gender||Percentage of users|
Sources: App Ape, Bloomberg
TikTok engagement by country
|Year||Usage per day (minutes)|
Sources: Bloomberg, Sensor Tower
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 U.S., 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 (App Annie)
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 U.S. in 2020, with 88% positive reviews (SensorTower)
How many marketers plan to use TikTok?
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)