TikTok is one of those “overnight sensations that took years” that you hear about in Hollywood and in Tech. George Clooney is a great example as he toiled for years in Hollywood before he broke out in the hit TV show, E.R., in the 1990’s.– they have been popular in China (operated as Douyin) for over five years, but have only been “discovered” in the U.S. in the last year or two – partly due to ex-President Donald Trump’s threats to ban TikTok in the U.S.
Recent data from Sensor Tower, a well regarded global app intelligence and data company, was reported by, saying TikTok was the most downloaded non-gaming app in the world for July 2021, with more than 63 million downloads globally. TikTok has also had spectacular results with huge numbers of downloads in many countries over its short life. It is estimated to exceed over 1B users along with its sister app in China, Douyin. TikTok and Douyin held the same top status throughout 2020 worldwide too.
Both Douyin and TikTok are owned by the very large Chinese interactive media and entertainment company, ByteDance, which has been rumored to be heading toward a public IPO sooner than later. Currently the Chinese government has been challenging some of the biggest Chinese digital companies regarding public offerings, M&A and
cash movement, etc. ByteDance, Tencent, Didi, Alibaba and others are all good examples of companies that have to be very careful as they maintain their relationship with the Chinese government, operating as large International enterprises.
According to the Sensor Tower data, the greatest number of installations came from Douyin in China (15 percent ), followed by the United States, at 9 percent. Also in 2020 and during the first half of 2021, the app is reported to be at very top of the revenue rankings.
Certainly in the U.S., and probably around the world, there is a huge amount of room for TikTok to move into the realm of the few, huge, gigantic monetizers of Internet traffic, namely Facebook/Instagram, Amazon -0.6% and Google.
TikTok is not only growing rapidly but also has very satisfied and engaged users. The app has great tools for easily sharing creations and content across numerous digital platforms – even email for old people! The engagement numbers are astounding with many, many viewers spending over an hour a day watching TikTok.
Everyone says the secret sauce for TikTok is their “algo” – the algorithm that the TikTok computers are constantly analyzing and learning from (machine learning) to determine what content to offer you, what content will engage you, what content will you share, and what content is monetizable or leads to monetizaeble actions?
When Quibi was launched with huge capital and big Hollywood names, few folks were even talking about TikTok, and today Quibi is a failed interactive media brand that burned through over $1B dollars.and why TikTok was going to grow dramatically in a Forbes.com piece posted almost a year ago. Quibi was expensive, the content was too long, the distribution was too limited, and perhaps, maybe, the Hollywood guys aren’t really up to speed with the tastes of the Millennials and Gen Z that drive our society and our economy. Perhaps they didn’t “get it”.
The numbers are clear, TikTok is “getting it” and, TikTok is “killing it,” in the more common vernacular of today’s society. TikTok is short, “non-professional” content, ridiculed by some, yet adored by hundreds of millions. I bet TikTok continues to accelerate its success worldwide.