First Time TikTok Becomes Non-Facebook Owned App to Reach 3 Billion Installs


Despite the launch of dozens of competing apps and functions and a rising bid to steal away its top stars, TikTok remains to grow with new stats from Sensor Tower showing its enduring popularity and resilience as it takes on the more prominent players.

Sensor Tower reported that TikTok, including the Chinese version of the app called Douyin, has now hit 3 billion global installs – the first non-Facebook app to achieve that milestone – with strong growth predictions for 2021.

As per Sensor Tower:

“The most downloaded and highest-grossing non-game app around the globe in the first half of 2021 is TikTok, reaching nearly 383 million first-time installations and generating an estimated $919.2 million in consumer spending. New TikTok downloads decreased 38 percent year-over-year from nearly 619 million in 1H 2020 – a drop partially attributable to its removal from India’s app stores – however, consumer spending increased 73 percent from $530.2 million..”

For the future growth of TikTok, this is an important moment. Although user growth is important, converting that captive audience into actual revenue is the true indicator of business success.

Furthermore, more spending will also help TikTok maintain its growth. As noted above, YouTube and Facebook have been working to improve their creator monetization tools to lure famous stars to their platforms, thus offering them greater reach and income potential.

TikTok needs to be able to share comparative value for creators to keep up. While size remains in favor of the more prominent players (for now), TikTok could still stumble if it can’t find ways to compete, and its most popular stars could leave to pursue greener pastures, losing their audiences in the process.

As with Vine, which didn’t have an effective monetization system, TikTok is doing all it can to improve its eCommerce tools and facilitate more brand/creator partnerships.

However, it remains an uphill battle. Snapchat went after this element with its TikTok-like Spotlight, offering $1 million a day for the best Spotlight videos (which it has since reduced to “millions” per month). This morning, Facebook announced a new 1 billion dollar creator fund to add more incentive to its apps.

TikTok can’t spend at the same rate as Facebook, but the key is building a sustainable creator ecosystem, which TikTok hopes to establish with these elements. The spending data from Sensor Tower is another positive sign on this front, showing that users are willing to make transactions in-app.

In Q2 2021, TikTok saw its strongest quarter-over-quarter growth in consumer spending since Q2 2020, climbing 39 percent to $534.6 million from $384.7 million. As of Q2 2021, TikTok had generated 205.4 million installs, the most the app has seen since Q1 2020 when it accumulated more than 315 million installs, the most any app has seen in a single quarter.”

It’s fantastic to consider the app’s growth – mainly when you consider that it also lost its second-biggest user market in the middle of last year (in India), which should have caused more of a bump in its stats.

TikTok continues to grow and build momentum. That has Facebook and YouTube spooked (and likely whispering in people’s ears about the threat posed by Chinese-owned apps), and the charts above clearly illustrate why. TikTok, particularly with its hold on younger audiences, now has the potential to become a critical app, much as Facebook took over MySpace in the early 2000s.

Facebook may not be there yet, but it knows all too well that getting a foothold with the young will lead to market dominance.

Instagram is no longer in the same position as Facebook.

Like Facebook, you can’t ignore the potential of what that might mean on a broader scale.