They finally did it. TikTok, the social media app by Chinese company ByteDance, just reached 1 billion monthly users on September 27th, 2021. Being only three years old, the growth that TikTok had was both impressive and incredibly fast. In the U.S., TikTok has about 100 million monthly active users, which is up nearly 800% percent from January of 2018.
TikTok COO Vanessa Pappas posted a video announcing the milestone on the official TikTok page, thanking all the users from around the globe.
The app was original released under the name ‘A.me’ in China in September 2016, but was rebranded to ‘Douyin’ in December that year. It was released outside China as TikTok in 2017, but really blew up when it merged with ‘musical.ly’ and was released worldwide in 2018.
Ever since then, TikTok has been growing steadily to become a global sensation. Back in early 2020, TikTok became the more downloaded app with 315 million downloads in the first quarter alone. In addition, TikTok overtook YouTube in average watch time this April, according to data from App Annie. Now, TikTok has surpassed huge social media platforms like Twitter with their 330 million users, making Twitter’s number looks small compared to TikTok’s ten-digit figure.
Even after this impressive milestone, TikTok is still way behind compared to Facebook. Across its family of apps, Facebook had 3.51 billion monthly users in the second quarter of 2021. This includes the Reels feature on Instagram, which is basically a blatant copy of TikTok.
Facebook and YouTube both took eight years to cross the billion user threshold, happening in 2012 and 2013 respectively. These statistics really illustrate how fast TikTok was able to grow its user base.
With its massive reach, TikTok shapes the culture around the world, from the music you hear to the actors you see on the big screen. It would be interesting to see if they end up monopolising the market soon, or if a new competitor will sprout up in the future.