Facts about TikTok

TikTok is an iOS and Android social media video app for creating and sharing short lip-sync, comedy, and talent videos. The app was launched in 2017 by ByteDance, for markets outside of China. ByteDance has previously launched Douyin for the China market in September 2016.


  1. Downloads: As of this writing, 110 million Americans have downloaded TikTok. Nearly 1.2 billion have downloaded the app worldwide.
  2. Top App: SensorTower.com reports that in 2019, TikTok has hovered between the #1 and #3 spot for top app downloads around the globe.
  3. Facebook: Last year, Facebook launched Lasso in an effort to compete with TikTok, but monthly downloads have averaged less than 1% of TikTok’s.
  4. Founder: Bytedance, TikTok’s parent company, was founded by 36-year-old Zhang Yiming. The company is now worth $75 billion, making it the most valuable start-up in the world.
  5. Usage: According to internal documents acquired by The Wall Street Journal, the average user opened TikTok more than 8 times and spent about 45 minutes a day on the app as of March 2019.
  6. Super Bowl Spot: TikTok was ready to air a commercial it created for the SuperBowl, but canceled the ad because they didn’t want to grab the attention of Washington, DC in the wake of the Huawei scandal.
  7. Musical.ly: Bytedance acquired Musical.ly on November 2017 and upgraded the app’s recommendation engine. In August 2018, Bytedance dropped the Musical.ly name in favor of TikTok.
  8. Global Offices: TikTok has offices in Beijing, Berlin, Jakarta, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Mumbai, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, and Tokyo.
  9. Artificial Intelligence: TikTik uses artificial intelligence to figure out which video posts are most likely to generate views and which videos are likely to go viral.
  10. Editing Tools: Users make their videos using TikTok’s editing tools, which allows them to add music and other effects.
  11. Sharing: Facebook and Snap allow users to share content only with friends. TikTok allows users to share content with the whole world.
  12. Ad Sales: The app is working to ramp up ad sales in the U.S. When it does launch its ad platform, ads will be seamlessly embedded in the TikTok stream similar to the way Facebook embeds ads in the Facebook stream.
  13. Apps: Bytedance has a variety of other apps that are available in China, but has focused its efforts on TikTok outside of China.
  14. Censored: India and Indonesia have temporarily banned downloads or restricted access to TikTok because of concerns about the content.
  15. FTC Violation: In February of 2019, Bytedance agreed to pay $5.7 million to settle FTC allegations that it illegally collected personal information from children under 13. After the fine was paid, TikTok tweaked the app to split users into age-appropriate areas.
  16. Snapchat: Tech companies in the U.S. have accused Bytedance of copying American innovations. A Bytedance app called Duoshan replicates many of Snapchat’s Stories features, including disappearing videos, the editing tools, and the method of discovering other videos.
  17. Revenues: Douyin and TikTok contributed more than $1 billion to Bydance’s 2018 revenue. Despite this, TikTok is not consistently profitable.
  18. Virality: The app has spawned numerous viral trends and internet celebrities around the world, propelled songs to fame and is known to be popular among celebrities due to its popularity and social influence.