Back then, the app was used by around 11 million Americans, according to CNBC. Then a year later, that number more than doubled as TikTok reported 27 million monthly users.
And finally, by this year, the app was averaging 91 million users per month, with over 100 million by the time the pandemic had set in and was keeping Americans at home, and over 50 million who use the app every day, according to CNBC.
Globally, the app has seen an equivalent spike, with 55 million in January 2018 increasing to 689 million by July 2020, CNBC reported.
The company is fighting a ban by the Trump administration, which contends that the app could be dangerous to national security if its user data is being used to feed information back to the Chinese government.
So the Trump administration issued an executive order Aug. 6 banning U.S. companies from doing business with TikTok parent ByteDance after 45 days had passed. It also mandated that ByteDance had to divest U.S. interests in TikTok within 90 days. The company is reportedly in talks with numerous prominent American tech companies, including Microsoft and Oracle, about a sale.
But ByteDance contends that the government is wrong about its security concerns, and that the app is safe.
ByteDance filed its own lawsuit on Aug. 24. In a blog post, the company warned that the impending ban would disadvantage employees of the company working in the U.S., as well as inconvenience millions of Americans who enjoy using the app.
News surfaced recently that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whose company far eclipses TikTok with 2.7 billion global monthly users, according to CNBC may have had a hand in the current American government's opinion of the video-sharing app. Zuckerberg, it was reported, talked to numerous sources, including Trump and some senators, about potential threats from the app.