TikTok reaches 1 billion monthly users

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TikTok app logo on the App Store.

Jakub Porzycki | NurPhoto | Getty Images

TikTok revealed Monday it has 1 billion active global users, indicating steady growth of the short-form video app.

TikTok, which is privately held and owned by the Chinese company Bytedance, has reported a surge in users over the past few years, with a large amount of its U.S. audience joining amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

TikTok said it had about 55 million global users by Jan. 2018. That number grew to more than 271 million by Dec. 2018 and 507 million by Dec. 2019. The company reported nearly 700 million monthly active users last summer.

In comparison, Facebook said in the second quarter it had 3.51 billion monthly users across its family of apps, up from 3.45 billion in the first quarter.

Still, the company launched one of the most successful short-form video apps, with many of its large tech competitors racing to recreate their own versions. Facebook launched its TikTok clone, Instagram Reels, broadly last August. Snap announced a similar feature called Spotlight last year. Google‘s YouTube launched its competitor, Shorts, last September.

TikTok managed to grow despite a rocky year. The company faced a slew of setbacks, including a possible U.S. ban after the former Trump administration deemed its data storage and security a national security risk.

TikTok was to be sold to an American company if it wanted to keep operating widely, with Oracle later being named as its “trusted technology provider.”

However, President Joe Biden’s ascension to the White House allowed the company to continue operating as normally. In February, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Oracle deal had been “shelved indefinitely.” Biden this summer also signed an executive order that sets criteria for the government to evaluate the risk of apps connected to foreign adversaries

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