Popular social video app TikTok has been growing rapidly and is now starting to focus on monetization and advertising, according to a report by TechCrunch.
The company already generates some revenue from in-app purchases, about $9 million in May, which is a 500 percent year-over-year growth rate.
The app, which is based in Beijing and owned by ByteDance, has been more focused on growth than revenue, and it hasn’t been eager to put up a paywall for some features because it doesn’t want to jeopardize that growth.
The company is especially focused on India, where it has 200 million users, 120 million of whom are active. TikTok is the most downloaded app in the country, a distinction it took from Facebook in Q1 of this year. Still, Indian users only make up about half of a percent of all the company’s in-app purchases, which is around $45,000.
Now, the company wants to get more advertisers. It recently signed on brands like Pepsi, Myntra, Shopclues and Shaadi.com, among others.
The app doesn’t charge for filters or video effects, but users can purchase TikTok coins to buy gifts for other streamers. Users in China have spent $5.9 million of all of the $9 million May in-app purchases, which makes up about 65 percent.
In the United States, both iOS and Android users spent about $2 million, which is around 22 percent of gross revenue.
May was a big month for the company, in terms of installs. About 56 million people installed the app that month, which is an increase of 27 percent from the previous one. Despite the large numbers, installs were actually down 21 percent from a high in January of 70.8 million, although a short ban in India may have contributed to that.
Since its inception, the company is around 1.2 billion installations, but that doesn’t mean they’re all active users. The company last summer said it had about 500 million people actively using the app every month.