It currently sits on the number two spot below WhatsApp. While things look good for the Chinese video-sharing social networking service, there are numerous challenges ahead.
For ByteDance, this possibly doesn’t come as a surprise.
The Beijing-based company’s app together with its Chinese version, Douyin, recorded a whopping 740 million downloads in 2019 according to market analyst Sensor Tower. More than 1.5 billion downloads happened on the App Store and Google Play.
To put things into perspective, in 2018 there were 614 million downloads of the app.
Thank you, India.
Despite being an app made in China and having majority of its revenue generated here, TikTok has been expanding aggressively worldwide.
Majority of the app’s installations happened in India, at 277.6 million aka 45 percent, according to Sensor Tower. In China, it’s 45.5 million or 7.4 percent, followed by the U.S. at 37.6 million downloads (6 percent).
On the App Store and Google Play, the same scenario pans out with India leading at 466.8 million downloads (31 percent), China at 173.2 million (11.5 percent), and the U.S. 123.8 million downloads (8.2 percent).
Please bear in mind, the above numbers don’t take into account the third-party Android downloads.
Hitting the sweet spot.
When it comes to money, TikTok is generating some pretty impressive flow of moolah.
Majority of the money comes from Chinese users who’ve spent a whopping total of 84.5 million in the app. This essentially translates to 48.3% of revenue from ByteDance’s home base.
The U.S. is the app’s second moneymaker, bringing in US$62.4 million (35.7 percent), followed by Great Britain at the third spot with US$6.9 million (3.9 percent).
On Google Play and the App Store, TikTok users have spent a total of US$175 million.
What does it take to be numero uno?
With success comes immitation. And no, it’s not a form of flattery but a straight up sign that people are competing with you.
Which means, TikTok has to be on its toes with the likes of new startup players and established giants.
Singapore-based video platform Likee, by Bigo, recently debuted straight into the top 10 spot with more than 330 million installations. Yes, again, India contributed to nearly half the figures.
What’s more, realizing TikTok’s advancements, bigger and much more established players such as Facebook and Instagram are already imitating some of the Chinese app’s features.
For instance, Instagram released an almost TikTok-esque video-music remix “Reels” feature. This debuted in Brazil a couple of months back and other users worldwide would possibly get a taste of it soon.
Then there’s the talk of WhatsApp monetizing its app and it’s expected to do so in 2020. Unlike its rivals, TikTok has challenges when it comes to making money because majority of its revenue is made in China, according to South China Morning Post.
However, ByteDancep is already mulling on introducing embed links to allow users to shop on brands advertising on TikTok.
On the other hand, the app has already made progressive steps in making sure that political ads are not shown to its users. It even spruced up its community guidelines to make sure politics is banned on the app.
The golden question still remains: Is TikTok the Facebook killer we’ve been waiting for? Hopefully 2020 would give us a tease of things to come.
Cover image sourced from Mic.