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TikTok is now the second-most popular social app in the US, overtaking Instagram

It was only a matter of time.

tiktok app on smartphone
Image: AP

A recent report from app analytics site Sensor Tower revealed that the TikTok popularity has exploded in 2020. In just eight months, TikTok has added 614 million downloads from both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

All that puts TikTok ahead of Instagram as the second most popular social app. At the moment, it is Snapchat that stands between the top and TikTok.

Another piece of data from the report shows that TikTok is very popular with Generation Z. At the same time, Facebook is acutely aware of the threat coming from TikTok and has even tried to mimic TikTok’s success. To that end, Facebook in 2018 even launched its video-sharing app named Lasso. Then came Reels, a new video tool feature on Instagram that is very similar to TikTok, and Instagram launched it a few weeks earlier this year.

However, Tiktok has not achieved this massive userbase without any hiccups. ByteDance, a Chinese company, owns TikTok. The app was scrutinized for handling user data by the US government and President Donald Trump. If it wasn’t for the deal that allowed Walmart and Oracle to acquire 20% of TikTok, the app was under threat of being banned in the US.

In June 2020, India’s government banned TikTok due to a border dispute between China and India. That also put a rather significant dent in TikTok’s massive expansion. But even after losing one of its biggest markets, TikTok’s growth remains impressive.

The only segment in which Instagram is ahead of TikTok is usage. According to Tensor Flow data, Instagram features 84% engagement, then cames Snapchat with 80%, whereas TikTok is in the honorary third place with 69% usage. Nice.

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