TikTok tops 2 billion downloads

Mobile

TikTok, the widely popular video sharing app developed by one of the world’s most valued startups (ByteDance), continues to grow rapidly despite suspicion from the U.S. as more people look for ways to keep themselves entertained amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The global app and its Chinese version, called Douyin, have amassed over 2 billion downloads on Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store, mobile insight firm Sensor Tower said Wednesday.

TikTok is the first app after Facebook’s marquee app, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger to break past the 2 billion downloads figure since January 1 of 2014, a Sensor Tower official told TechCrunch. (Sensor Tower began its app analysis on that date.)

A number of apps from Google, the developer of Android, including Gmail and YouTube have amassed over 5 billion downloads, but they ship pre-installed on most Android smartphones and tables.

TikTok’s 2 billion download milestone, a key metric to assuage an app’s growth, comes five months after it surpassed 1.5 billion downloads.

In the quarter that ended on March 31, TikTok was downloaded 315 million times, surpassing its previous best of 205.7 million downloads in Q4 2018. Facebook’s WhatsApp, the second most popular app by volume of downloads, amassed nearly 250 million downloads in Q1 this year, Sensor Tower told TechCrunch.

As the app gains popularity, it is also clocking more revenue. Users have spent about $456.7 million on TikTok to date, up from $175 million five months ago. Much of these spendings — about 72.3% — has happened in China. Users in the United States have spent about $86.5 million on the app, making the nation the second most important market for TikTok from the revenue standpoint.

Craig Chapple, a strategist at Sensor Tower, said that not all the downloads are organic as TikTok, which launched outside of China in 2017, has engaged in a “large user acquisition campaign.” But he attributed some of the surge in downloads to the COVID-19 outbreak that has driven more people than ever to look for new apps.

India, TikTok’s largest international market, accounts for the app’s 30.3% downloads, according to Sensor Tower. The app has been downloaded 611 million times in the world’s second largest internet market.

From a platform’s stand point, 75.5% of all of TikTok’s downloads have occurred through Google Play Store. But the vast majority of spendings has come from users on Apple’s ecosystem ($435.3 million of $456 million).

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