TikTok beats Facebook to become the second most downloaded app in the world

17 January 2020

Along with its Chinese version Douyin short video platform got 740 million downloads last year, surpassing Facebook

Video-sharing app TikTok became the world’s second most downloaded app in 2019 with 740 million downloads in 2019, yielding only to WhatsApp (more than 850 million downloads). It surpassed both Facebook and Facebook-owned Messenger, which finished respectively 3rd with 720 million downloads and 4th with around 690 million, according to the intelligence firm Sensor Tower report.

The end of the year was extremely fruitful for TikTok: it reached 220 million downloads in the 4th quarter only. The popularity of the app continues to grow.

TikTok is also #1 among the most downloaded apps in AppStore and #2 in Google play.

It ranked 2nd in the United States with under 15 million downloads, and 2nd in Europe with around 33 million.

Interestingly, according to the analytics at AppAnnie, TikTok was only 4th worldwide, preceded by Facebook Messenger, Facebook itself and WhatsApp.

Where do the money come from

Short video sharing platform owned by ByteDance still gets most of its revenue from China despite the rapid international growth in the last year. Overall, it was the third most grossing among photo and video apps in Q2 2019, and generated $176.9 million in revenue by the end of the year. 69% of that revenue came from China, another 20% from the U.S. As a private company, Tik Tok doesn’t disclose its detailed revenue numbers. 

Tik Tok works with advertisers, offering them to post their campaigns not only on Tik Tok itself, but also with its entire family of apps: Vigo Video (India only), BuzzVideo, News Republic, and others. To choose which platforms you want to show your ads on, select your preferred placement option while setting up your campaign. You can find a detailed guide to creating an ad campaign on Tik Tok here.

Ads on Tik Tok

Advertisers can choose out of several ad types:

Brand Takeover: a video that will appear instantly when you open TikTok. As of now, brand takeover is limited to one brand per day. Upon clicking it can redirect to another video or to the brand’s website.

In-feed ad: these ads are placed either at the bottom of mainstream TikTok videos or as part of the video queue in your feed. They cost around $10 CPM on average, and can also redirect to another video or brand’s website.

Hashtag challenge: a campaign in collaboration with Tik Tok marketing team that results in a branded hashtag ushering users to share brand’s content on Tik Tok. A hashtag challenge usually lasts up to 6 days.

Among the most famous brands present on Tik Tok ads are the Washington Post, Guess, HP, NFL, Calvin Klein, The San Diego Zoo, Chipotle, NBA, NBC, ESPN and WWE. 

Advertising itself

Tik Tok also leads quite an aggressive marketing campaign. According to the WSJ, its “own ad spending, to drive downloads of the app, jumped to as much as $3 million a day in the U.S”. By the Q2 of 2019 Tik Tok had spent around $1 billion worldwide on its promotion.

Tik Tok used nearly all the means of promoting itself: PPC (to the point where Snapchat considered blocking all Tik Tok ads on its platform), influencers, ambassadors, referral programs and marketing agencies.

After careful consideration, Snap СEO Evan Spiegel decided Tik Tok ads will be allowed to stay. He even complimented the app, predicting it can one day outshine Facebook-owned Instagram in popularity.

“I think it’s certainly possible [Tik Tok becomes bigger than Instagram] because this talent-based content is often more interesting than status-based content,”  Spiegel said at the Digital Life Design (DLD) Conference in Munich on Sunday, 19th of January 2019.

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