One billion monthly active users: a new milestone for TikTok

Sep 29, 2021 Social Network


TikTok has reached 1 billion monthly active users across the globe, it announced.

The video-sharing platform, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, has been reporting steady growth over the past few years, despite facing the regulatory censorship fiasco in the United States, India, and other regions.

TikTok announced on September 27, 2021, that its global monthly active users have exceeded 1 billion. This also means that TikTok has successfully joined the 1 billion monthly active users (MAU) club, and has become the Top 5 app in the world, alongside Facebook's Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger, and WeChat.

But, surprisingly, it took TikTok only 4 years to hit 1 billion monthly active users, an achievement that is far ahead of all products with more than 1 billion monthly active users in the world.


Only 4 years to hit 1 billion monthly active users

In 2021, the number of Facebook's monthly active users had reached 2.9 billion. However, it took Facebook, the world's dominant social network, 8 years to reach 1 billion monthly active users.

In addition, WhatsApp, after being acquired by Facebook for $16 billion, announced in February 2016 that it took 7 years to finally gain 1 billion users. In July 2016, Facebook announced again that the chat app Messenger also reached 1 billion users, which also took 5 years for Messenger to achieve this goal (spun off as a standalone app in 2011).

Instagram, a key rival to TikTok, also took 8 years to hit 1 billion monthly active users.

Similar to WhatsApp, Instagram was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion the year after it was launched. In June 2018, Instagram announced that its monthly active users exceeded 1 billion, and at that time, Instagram was valued at more than $100 billion.

According to Leifengwang (ID: leiphone-sz), among the Internet applications with more than 1 billion monthly active users worldwide, Gmail took 12 years, Google Maps took 11 years, Alipay took 15 years, and WeChat took 7 years.

Nowadays, TikTok is considered as a competitor that can fight with the global social juggernaut Facebook. And its phenomenal expansion often makes its competitors anxious.

Instagram CEO once confessed, "TikTok is an incredibly powerful competitor, even the most powerful competitor we've ever seen."

Even Zuckerberg has to admit that TikTok is indeed the first Chinese tech giant's consumer Internet product that does well globally. But he believes that its strict censorship mechanism is not in line with the "spirit of the Internet" that he considers.

As a result, several U.S. entrepreneurs, including Zuckerberg, were the driving force behind the U.S. sanctions against TikTok.


Another milestone for ByteDance

In the "Thanks a billion!" announcement, TikTok said, "Since July 2020, TikTok has grown its global monthly active users by 45%. Now, more than 1 billion people around the world come to TikTok every month to be entertained as they learn, laugh, or discover something new."

Currently, most of the Internet applications with more than 1 billion monthly active users worldwide are in the hands of the tech giants like Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, Tencent, and Alibaba.

Therefore, the number "1 billion" is a milestone with great significance for the young platform TikTok and even ByteDance.

In less than two years, TikTok's user base has also almost doubled.

As of January 2018, TikTok had about 55 million users worldwide; by December 2018, that number exceeded 271 million; by December 2019, that number increased to 507 million; and last summer, the app had nearly 700 million monthly active users, according to data disclosed by ByteDance. Today, its monthly active users have officially surpassed 1 billion.

This high growth is still built based on the collective blocking of the Indian and Indonesian markets.

It is understood that TikTok has absorbed the attention of young people since its launch overseas.

When it was first launched in August 2017, it reached first place in the free list of the Japanese App Store in only 3 months. Meanwhile, the user base of TikTok in India is over 250 million. After entering Brazil in 2019, it quickly captured the market in 3 months and achieved a daily active user of 3 million.

In June this year, according to an internal material of ByteDance, its actual revenue in 2020 reached 236.6 billion yuan, up 111% year-on-year, with an operating loss of 14.7 billion yuan. By the end of 2020, the number of its global monthly active users reached 1.9 billion, and there were 110,000 official employees worldwide.

This achievement is also one of the few in Chinese Internet companies.

Although TikTok is a far cry from social app giant Facebook in terms of user numbers. But it is undeniable that TikTok is still one of the most successful short video applications in the world.

In July, Sensor Tower data showed that TikTok had reached 3 billion downloads worldwide, making it the first non-Facebook app to reach that number. At the same time, TikTok has also become the number one downloaded app in the world in 2020, overpowering the Facebook family bucket: Facebook, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram, which has dominated the list for years.

This is an article from WeChat official accounts Leifengwang (ID: leiphone-sz), written by Qin Qianwen, translated by Chris.