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  • Lawrence Ng

TikTok Becomes Most Downloaded App, Beats Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp

Market tracker App Annie recently announced that TikTok beat Facebook as the world’s most downloaded app in 2020. In effect, the platform became the only app that was not owned by Facebook to consist of the global top five of the most downloaded apps list. Behind Facebook were Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

Credit: Nur Photo/Getty Images

Interestingly, TikTok has the smallest active user count amongst the four other apps. As of July 2021, Facebook is the most popular social network globally with its 2.85 billion active users. One spot behind the tech giant is YouTube with 2.29 billion people visiting the video-sharing platform on a regular basis. WhatsApp ranked third, boasting two billion active users.

Instagram and Facebook Messenger took fourth and fifth place, respectively. Instagram has 1.386 billion active users while Facebook Messager has one billion. Around the world, TikTok has over one billion users with 732 million of them frequently engaging with the content creation app within the timeframe specified above.

Credit: 42matters

In Singapore, TikTok is a hit. As of writing, the Chinese platform owned by ByteDance ranked fourth in the “highest ranked apps in Singapore” list, reported app market research firm 42matters. What's surprising is that Facebook and Instagram are not included here.

The impact of TikTok on social media is massive as it spurred Instagram to introduce video features that aim to outpace the Chinese app’s collection of short-form content. In August 2020, Instagram announced Reels, which allows users to record and share 15-second videos with others, although this limit was increased to 30 seconds a month after the feature was rolled out. They can also place audio and augmented reality effects on the clips as well as compile different videos to make a Reel.

On 1 July 2021, TikTok unveiled a longer video format that lets users record up to three minutes of content. Before the change was made, people could only create and share videos that did not exceed 60 seconds. Nearly four weeks later, Instagram stated that it will now lengthen the maximum video time limit to 60 seconds.


Written by Sophia Lopez

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