Despite almost being banned in the US, being actually banned in its second-biggest usage market, almost being sold off entirely and facing various direct challenges from rivals.
Despite all of this, TikTok has continued to steadily grow, and build on its foundations, and has now reached a new milestone of one billion monthly active users.
As per TikTok: “More than 1 billion people around the world now come to TikTok every month to be entertained as they learn, laugh, or discover something new. We’re honored to be a home for our immensely diverse community of families, small businesses, and creators who transform into our favorite stars.”
TikTok has also posted this clip to celebrate the achievement.
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The platform, seen by some as the second-coming of Vine, has generated huge audience response, and has quickly become the template for the next stage of social media development, with almost every social app now seeking to copy TikTok’s key elements, and align with evolving usage trends.
Indeed, Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are all in the process of trying TikTok-like options – which, given TikTok’s meteoric rise, makes perfect sense.
For context, TikTok has gone from 54 million users in January 2018 to a billion now, meaning it added some 950 million users in around 45 months. Instagram went from 100 million actives in February 2013, to a billion in June 2018 (66 months), which is not directly comparable due to different rates of mobile connectivity, usage, etc. But it does provide some measure of TikTok’s success.
And while the platform does still have some work to do in building an equitable, profitable and stable business within the short-form video format (which is not easy), the foundations are now clearly set, with the app continuing to lead the monthly download charts, and also lead the way as the key social platform for many, many younger users.
Which is where TikTok is truly winning. Just as Facebook superseded MySpace, TikTok is seeing a similar shift, with younger users spending more and more time on the platform, and migrating away from Facebook and Instagram instead. That doesn’t necessarily mean that TikTok will eventually win out, as such, but you can see that same trend evolving – which is why Facebook’s been so keen to push its TikTok-like tools, as it seeks to find ways to maintain its grip on its audience, and stop the slow slide into irrelevance that eventually swallowed up MySpace.
Facebook remains a critical connection tool for many, and it’s investing big in new markets and evolving technologies to ensure that it stays at the top of the heap. There’s less concern that Facebook will go the way of MySpace in this respect, but evidence does suggest that TikTok is absolutely winning the war of attention among the youth, which bodes well for its enduring success.
The next stage, as noted, is effective monetization, and TikTok is developing various eCommerce solutions and tools to better facilitate business, and creator funding, through a range of means.
A billion users is huge – it’s now on par with Instagram in terms of overall users, and growing much faster. A key consideration in your planning.