TikTok has now topped three billion worldwide downloads from the App Store and Google Play, according to data from Sensor Tower Store Intelligence, making it the fifth non-gaming app to reach that milestone since 2014, joining WhatsApp, Messenger, Facebook and Instagram.
The download numbers include the iOS version of Douyin, its release in China, but don’t factor in any downloads across third-party Android marketplaces.
Almost 383 million people around the world downloaded TikTok for the first time in the first half of 2021, making it the most downloaded non-game app in the world during that period. The platform also generated about $919.2 million in consumer spending in that timeframe, again the highest in the world.
Downloads of the TikTok app were down about 38 percent from the same time in 2020 from about 619 million, in part because it was removed from India’s app stores, but consumer spending was up 73 percent from $530.2 million in the first half of 2020 to this year’s first six months.
The second quarter of 2021 marked TikTok’s biggest quarterly growth since a year earlier, up 39 percent from $384.7 million to $534.6 million. First-time downloads climbed 16 percent from 177.5 million in the first quarter of 2021 to 205.4 million in the second three months of this year, the most growth for TikTok since it set a record for any app of more than 315 million downloads in the first quarter of 2020.
TikTok also became the 16th non-gaming app to reach more than $1 billion in gross revenue since January. It’s actually one of only five to make it to $2.5 billion, joining Tinder, Netflix, YouTube and Tencent Video.
TikTok has been working with European merchants on in-app sales, hoping to duplicate the success of Douyin, which generated $26 billion in sales through its app in its first year. Bloomberg reported that TikTok parent company ByteDance hopes to handle more than $185 billion in eCommerce per year by 2022.
TikTok has also become an online financial guru of sorts for young people, although financial experts warn against making it one’s only source of money wisdom.
TikTok grew its operating profit to $7 billion after ByteDance saw revenue at about $35 billion last year, Bloomberg reported. The Chinese company had an estimated operating profit of below $4 billion the prior year, per the report.
Beijing-based ByteDance is valued at about $180 billion and is planning to launch an initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong.