Chandigarh, June 30, 2020: Of the 59 Chinese apps banned by India on Monday, citing security concerns, TikTok is the most popular and the most downloaded.
The video-sharing social networking app has been downloaded more than 80 million times in the United States, and has reached 2 billion downloads worldwide, according to data from mobile research firm Sensor Tower that excludes Android users in China.
It is used to create short dance, lip-sync, comedy and talent videos. ByteDance first launched Douyin, as Tik Tok was previously known as, for the China market in September 2016. Later, TikTok was launched in 2017 for iOS and Android in most markets outside of China.
As of 2018, it was available in over 150 markets and in 75 languages. In February 2019, TikTok, together with Douyin, hit one billion downloads globally, excluding Android installs in China
In 2019, media outlets cited TikTok as the 7th-most-downloaded mobile app of the decade, from 2010 to 2019. It was also the most-downloaded app on the App Store in 2018 and 2019.
In the United States, 52% of TikTok users are iPhone users. While TikTok has a neutral gender-bias format, 44% of TikTok users are female while 56% are male.
TikTok's geographical use has shown that 43% of new users are from India.
TikTok has proven to attract the younger generation, as 41% of its users are between the ages of 16 and 24. Among these TikTok users, 90% say they use the app on a daily basis.
As of May 2020, there are 30 million monthly active users in the United States alone.
TikTok became the world's most downloaded app on Apple's App Store in the first half of 2018 with an estimated 104 million downloads in that time.
Many celebrities including Jimmy Fallon and Tony Hawk began using the application in 2018. Other celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Alba, Will Smith, and Justin Bieber joined TikTok as well and many other celebrities have followed.
The Government of India officially banned TikTok along with 58 other apps on June 29 citing concerns pertaining to national security, sovereignty and integrity, as well as data security, privacy and public order.
A press statement issued by Ministry of Information Technlogy stated: “The Ministry of Information Technology has decided to block 59 apps since in view of information available they are engaged in activities which [are] prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order. upon receiving of recent credible inputs that such Apps pose threat to sovereignty and integrity of India, the Government of India has decided to disallow the usage of certain Apps, used in both mobile and non-mobile Internet enabled devices.”
After merging with Musical.ly, downloads rose and TikTok became the most downloaded app in the US in October 2018, the first Chinese app to achieve this.
Studies have shown that in just one year, short videos in China have gone up by 94.8 million.
Similar to other platforms, journalists in several countries have raised privacy concerns about the app, because it is popular with children and has the potential to be used by sexual predators.
Several users have reported endemic cyberbullying on TikTok, including racism. In December 2019, following a report by German digital rights group Netzpolitik.org, TikTok admitted that it had suppressed videos by disabled users as well as LGBTQ+ users in a purported effort to limit cyberbullying.