According to the digital analytics company App Annie, TikTok was the world’s most downloaded app in 2020, taking the top spot away from Facebook Messenger.
The Chinese video-sharing platform is now the only app that isn’t owned by digital giant Facebook to make it to the top five global downloads list.
TikTok has faced many problems, particularly in the US. In 2020, the app faced a battle with former US President Donald Trump, who later went on to issue executive orders to heavily restrict the app and ban all new downloads.
Additionally, earlier this year, TikTok agreed to pay out $92 million in settlements to American consumers after a class-action lawsuit accusing the company of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, as well as privacy laws in both California and Illinois.
Despite these issues, TikTok’s popularity has emerged and has continued to grow. The app is particularly popular with younger users.
Since the survey started in 2018, Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook-owned apps have dominated the charts with its apps being in the top spot every year.
This year, they still accounted for the rest of the top five, with Facebook, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram all taking the other spots on the list.
Is TikTok a security risk?
President Donald Trump argued that TikTok posed a national security risk as the Chinese government would have access to the data of millions of users.
However, the company repeatedly denied these accusations and agreed to make a deal to sell part of its US business to US technology giant Oracle and retailer Walmart.
This deal was agreed upon by the US government but failed to get the Chinese government’s approval. But, since becoming President this year, Joe Biden has withdrawn the order.
Going forward, TikTok plans to find new ways to grow its audience and attract new users, such as new features to compete against its rivals like Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook.