TikTok reaches one billion active users, adds 300 million in a year

David Curry | October 6, 2021

App Business

TikTok revealed it reached one billion active global users in September, making it the seventh mobile app to reach this milestone.

Vanessa Pappas, the interim head of TikTok Global, announced the news on TikTok.

It has added 300 million new users since last summer, when it announced it had 700 million users. There was a dip in users in Q3 2020, due to India banning the app, however it bounced back relatively quickly.

TikTok Quarterly Monthly Active Users

TikTok has reached this milestone faster than any other native mobile app. It took Instagram eight years and WhatsApp seven years to reach one billion. The only apps in the same ballpark already had hundreds of millions of users pre-mobile, like Gmail, YouTube and Facebook.

At the rate of growth, the video-sharing platform could reach 1.5 billion by 2023.

If we include TikTok’s users in Mainland China, who use a separate version of the app called Douyin, the user figures are close to surpassing two billion. The last user figures published on Douyin in September 2020 said it had 600 million daily active users.

For Facebook and Snapchat, which both launched TikTok-clones in 2020, the fact TikTok has been able to continue to grow at a rate of approximately 40 million new active users a month should be worrying.

Facebook previously used Instagram as a buffer to stop Snapchat’s growth, through the launch of Stories, which did slow down Snapchat’s growth between 2017-2019. Facebook’s attempt to take out TikTok has not been as well received.

ByteDance, the owners of TikTok, plan to beef up the app’s e-commerce and advertising platform. Even with one billion users, ByteDance makes the majority of its revenue through its other platforms, such as Douyin and its algorithmic news aggregation service, Toutiao.

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