TikTok
  • TikTok has surpassed 2 billion all-time global downloads across iOS and Android devices, according to app analytics firm Sensor Tower.
  • The accomplishment comes on the back of a record-setting Q1: TikTok saw 315 million installs, which Sensor Tower reports is the most downloads any app has ever had in a single quarter.
  • Social platforms across the board have seen a surge in popularity in recent months, as people under coronavirus-related lockdown adjust to staying at home and find new ways to connect with others.
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TikTok has now surpassed 2 billion downloads on mobile devices after seeing a surge in popularity during the coronavirus pandemic.

The video-sharing app already had a monstrous start to 2020, attracting 315 million new installs since January, according to app analytics firm Sensor Tower. That reportedly is the most downloads any app has ever gotten in a single quarter.

TikTok, known for the viral, short-form videos its users create, has seen a surge in popularity in the last several months as countries were placed under lockdown orders and people continue to adjust to life indoors. Users have filled TikTok with light-hearted content providing an alternative to coronavirus-related news, including doctors taking dance breaks, people sharing DIY fashion and home renovation projects, and quarantined families making creative uses of their time at home together.

TikTok's 315 million first-quarter downloads dwarfs numbers out of other platforms, but social apps across the board have seen significant boosts in usage and downloads since the pandemic started. In Q1, Facebook accrued 186.1 million mobile downloads, and Instagram saw 151.8 million installs.

TikTok has become the go-to launchpad for memes and internet culture since it was launched by the China-based company ByteDance in September 2017. When TikTok debuted in the US less than a year later, it became the next best thing for creators since Vine, the video-sharing Twitter shut down in 2016.

The 2 billion downloads mark comes just over a year after TikTok reached 1 billion downloads globally. It took the app nearly 1.5 years to reach its first billion.

TikTok's download numbers, by quarter, since 2017.

US-based companies and startups have made several attempts at their TikTok competitors, but none have been able to reach the level of popularity that TikTok has achieved and is continuing to build upon. The only platform to have found comparable success in the US was Musical.ly - which ByteDance acquired in 2017 before shutting it down a year later to merge it into TikTok.

Most recently, The Information reported that YouTube is working on Shorts, an in-app feature for shortform video-sharing. Google, YouTube's parent company, had also previously been rumoured to be in talks to acquire a TikTok competitor called Firework, the Wall Street Journal reported in October 2019.

Facebook released a TikTok competitor in November 2018 named Lasso, but the app has remained quiet since its debut. Vine's cofounder launched an app called Byte in early 2020, which has seen some initial success in download numbers, but has yet to birth any internet stars or viral memes. Triller, advertised as a music-discovery app, is banking on partnerships with major music labels to rival TikTok. Although lip-syncing app Dubsmash has been instrumental in launching some TikTok-famous dances - notably, the "The Renegade" - it has only around one-third of the US downloads of TikTok, according to Sensor Tower data provided to TechCrunch in early 2020.

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