TikTok becomes the first non-Facebook app to reach 3 billion downloads

Image credit: Solen Feyissa

TikTok is the first non-Facebook app to reach a 3 billion downloads and is highest-grossing app worldwide.

For the past decade, Facebook has dominated the download charts for apps, excluding games. WhatsApp, Messenger, Facebook, and Instagram have all surpassed three billion downloads. However, they are all owned by the same parent company – Facebook. 

Surprisingly TikTok, owned by ByteDance has grown exponentially in the last two years, going from meme app to legitimate short-form video app. It has now impressed further by racking up over 3 billion downloads. 

TikTok has become such a powerhouse that it has companies such as YouTube trying to recreate the elements that made it popular by adding shorts. Instagram also wants to combat its rising popularity and added its reels feature. It’s not just a popularity contest though, with this many users there is a lot of money to be made, something all the above-mentioned companies want a stake in. 

TikTok has amassed more than $2.5 billion in consumer spending worldwide since the launch of the app in 2016. The only other non-gaming apps to have done this is Tinder, Netflix, YouTube, and Tencent Video. 

Spending grew so exponentially for a number of reasons, one being the apps increased popularity during the pandemic, as more people spent time on their phones and inside. The other being that they introduced features to help channels monetize their content, tools such as TikTok Creator Marketplace and the TikTok Creator Fund. 

TikTok is also a hub for new music and music discoveries, as a lot of its content is focused on music. Examples of this are the ‘Oh No’ song by Capone or the resurgence of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’ thanks to the skateboard video posted by Nathan Apodaca. 

It’s this element of TikTok that makes it so valuable and important to the music industry and fans, no matter the age of the song it likely has a space on the app. Meaning that new music and catalog music is often being discovered via TikTok, not to mention blasting into viral moments in some cases. 

Music journalist and photojournalist based in Cornwall.

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