An app has finally broken Facebook Inc.’s monopoly when it comes to mobile downloads. Viral video sharing platform TikTok has become the first non-Facebook app to go over the 3 billion downloads milestone, as per a report released by Sensor Tower on Tuesday. Moreover, it is now only the fifth non-game app to go beyond the mark, following Facebook Inc.’s many apps, namely, WhatsApp, Messenger, Facebook, and Instagram, in that particular order.
Highest-Grossing and Most Downloaded
In the first half of 2021, the app from parent company ByteDance had become the globally most downloaded app, standing at as many as 383 million first-time installs at the start of the year, despite being some 38% down as compared to the first half of 2020 (when the app installs had stood at 619 million). The downswing had been attributed to a ban in India and subsequent removal from the markets in the subcontinent. Meanwhile, the service was also the highest-grossing non-game app around the world, taking in as much as $919.2 million in terms of consumer spending. Additionally, user spending also saw a hike of a whopping 73%.
The Chinese app now boasts revenue of more than $2.5 billion in terms of customer spending worldwide, ever since it came into being in 2016. There are only four other non-game apps that have managed to reach the milestone, namely, Netflix, Tinder, Tencent Video, and YouTube.
Growth in the Face of Competition
This growth with 3 billion downloads serves to show that the platform that TikTok continues to stay strong, despite having been scrapped from the app list in India last year, amid rising tensions between India and China, and mounting security concerns. The app had also run into some troubles just last month, when US President Joe Biden had directed the Commerce Department to conduct security reviews on any foreign apps, especially those associated with foreign adversaries. But still, it was a welcome move after former POTUS Donald Trump’s attempts at getting Chinese apps banned in the United States during his last month in office.
While TikTok can definitely take a moment out to celebrate this achievement, problems still abound, as competition continues to rise, thanks to an increasing number of apps and platforms trying to capitalise on TikTok’s formula.
For starters, YouTube recently announced that it would be rolling out YouTube Shorts to over 100 countries, up from the 26 nations that had the feature up till now. Meanwhile, Facebook too, added a new short video section to its platform last year, and Instagram took to Reels in the same month as well.