This illustration photo taken on June 29, 2020 shows a person using the video-sharing app TikTok on a smartphone in New Delhi. (Photo by SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP via Getty Images)
THE Chinese video-sharing app TikTok was the world’s most downloaded app in 2020, market tracker App Annie has said.
It overtook Facebook and its messaging platforms, including WhatsApp. TikTok was the fourth most downloaded app in the previous year.
The research firm said that TikTok surged in popularity despite efforts by former US president Donald Trump to ban it or force a sale to US-based investors.
TikTok, owned by China-based ByteDance, is believed to have one billion users worldwide including more than 100 million in the US, and its short-form videos are especially popular with young smartphone users.
US President Joe Biden in June revoked executive orders from his predecessor seeking to ban TikTok and Chinese-owned WeChat from US markets on national security concerns but ordered a review of the potential risks of foreign-owned internet services.
While the political debate about the video-snippet sharing sensation roiled, TikTok climbed from the fourth most downloaded app in 2019 to the top spot last year, according to App Annie data.
On the way, TikTok stepped over Facebook and two of the US internet giants texting apps Messenger and WhatsApp, the market tracker determined.
TikTok’s popularity has prompted Facebook-owned Instagram to add video features to ride the hot trend.
Meanwhile, TikTok last month began letting users post videos up to three minutes in length, tripling the prior cap to stay ahead of competitors.
Facebook has argued that the surge in TikTok’s popularity undercuts claims from antitrust enforcers in the US that the California group dominates social networking.