Despite the achievement, the app is facing several challenges in terms of competition and monetization .
TikTok and its Chinese counterpart Douyin, overtook both Facebook and Messenger to become the world’s second most downloaded app in 2019. The short video platforms operated by ByteDance had an incredible year in 2019 and is second only to WhatsApp in terms of overall app downloads.
According to Sensor Tower’s ranking, both TikTok and Douyin amassed a total of 740 million downloads last year. In addition, it did not consider third-party app stores that are primarily used in China as Google Play Store is blocked in the country.
The report from Sensor Tower included worldwide downloads from the Google Play Store, iPhone and iPad. However, the market analyst does not count pre-installed Apple and Google apps for its ranking.
However, the short-video platform is facing challenges from established players who are embracing the short content format as well as upstart rivals. One of TikTok’s smaller rival is Likee, a short-video platform owned by Bigo, a Singapore-based technology company. Likee was listed in the top 10 spots with over 330 million installations worldwide. Sensor Tower claimed half of total Likee downloads came from India alone.
Tech in Asia reported, Meenakshi Tiwari, an analyst at Forrester, said, “Short video has been popularized by TikTok for sure, but bigger social networking platforms like Facebook and Instagram are aware of it and are doing something about it.”
Tiwari also noted that despite the app’s immense popularity and rapid expansion, monetization still remains the biggest challenge for TikTok. Chinese counterpart Douyin takes a minimum 5 percent commission for advertisements produced through its official channel. However, unlike Douyin users who are able to generate income through ads, TikTok users reportedly do not rake in a lot of moolah.Operating in markets like India is also proving challenging for the short video platform. In its first transparency report published in December 2019, TikTok revealed that most request to restrict or remove content on the platform in the first half of 2019 came from India.Get access to India's fastest growing financial subscriptions service Moneycontrol Pro for as little as Rs 599 for first year. Use the code "GETPRO". Moneycontrol Pro offers you all the information you need for wealth creation including actionable investment ideas, independent research and insights & analysis For more information, check out the Moneycontrol website or mobile app.