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How in the world did TikTok overtake WhatsApp?

TikTok is an app that has undoubtedly become a cultural phenomenon in recent times. Not many apps have the addictive quality that the Chinese video-sharing app has, and the originality of the format that TikTok has introduced is set to inspire copycats everywhere in the digital space. In 2019, the app overtook Facebook to become the second most-downloaded app of the year—a huge achievement in itself. 

And now, TikTok has dethroned WhatsApp as the most downloaded app in the month of January, according to data from Sensor Tower. It’s worth noting that the report appears to take downloads of the Chinese version of TikTok, Douyin, into account for the rankings—both apps were downloaded 104 million times on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. 

Additionally, this is a 46% increase in downloads from the same period in 2019, along with a 27% increase over total downloads in December 2019. Interestingly, the top 3 countries for downloads in the month of January include India, Brazil, and the United States—although these figures don’t take into account sideloaded TikTok apps.

This all paints a picture of the continued rise of TikTok. Sensor Tower also shares that TikTok has been installed more than 738 million times in 2019, with parent company ByteDance raking in nearly US$177 million globally over the year. This comes despite some controversy over TikTok with regards to security fears. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently banned use of the app by their employees, with the Department of Homeland Security having made a similar move previously.

Despite that, the popularity of the app in the U.S, isn’t affected one bit, it appears. Rankings by Sensor Tower have TikTok as the number 1 most downloaded non-game app in the U.S. for January 2020, followed by Disney+, and Instagram. WhatsApp only comes in in 8th for overall downloads for the month. 

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That said, it’s still certainly a feat to be admired. TikTok may be hugely addictive, it may have a huge following amongst the global youth, it’s certainly an interesting take on short-form videos, but still—to be downloaded more than WhatsApp? That’s no joke. Literally everyone I know has WhatsApp installed. 

[ VIA ]