If you have young kids or spend time with teens, you've probably joined in the fun and made a couple of tiktoks. The mobile app pens itself as 'the leading destination for short-form mobile video' with the mission 'to inspire creativity and bring joy.'
TikTok has been around for a few years. My kids have been active users for a least two years, starting first with the company's acquisition Music.ly. And when I say active, I mean daily (if not hourly).
TikTok is run by ByteDance, a Beijing company that purchased Music.ly (a US company) in 2017 for around one billion dollars and folded it within its own video app TikTok.
According to Sensor Tower, a research firm, the social video app reached the one billion download milestone for worldwide installs on the App Store and Google Play by the end of 2018.As per Sensor Towers' Store Intelligence estimates, approximately 663 million of the installs were in 2018.
In comparison, for the same period, Facebook was installed an estimated 711 million times and Instagram 444 million. By fourth-quarter 2018, TikTok was the top app for the fourth consecutive quarter in the US. YouTube and Facebook-owned Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Facebook took the next five spots according to Sensor Towers' published report.
These numbers show it's overwhelming popularity and growth. Needless to say, the Silicon Valley giants are worried and on the offensive. Facebook launched its TikTok clone, Lasso. And Google (owner of YouTube) is apparently in talks with Firework, an app similar to TikTok.
How will the US giants go after the upstart?
Government regulation. Acquire clones. Add tiktok-like features. Stayed tuned
One thing is for sure - TikTok is popular.
From watching its usage in my own home, I foresee its popularity growing and retention rate rising.