TikTok pips Facebook to become 2020’s most downloaded app
Even as TikTok zoomed to No 1, the Mark Zuckerberg stable — Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and FB Messenger — retained dominance in the top 5 globally
Perhaps, the short video format was the right prescription for a pandemic-hit world. In 2020, TikTok replaced Facebook Messenger as the world’s most downloaded app, said a BBC report citing data from digital analytics firm App Annie.
The Chinese social media app’s popularity remained untouched despite attempts by former US President Donald Trump to ban it. India, one of TikTok’s biggest markets, banned the app over security concerns.
TitTok had another distinction: it was the only app not owned by Mark Zuckerberg-led social media giant Facebook to take one of the top five spot globally. Apps from the Facebook stable — including Instagram and WhatsApp — have dominated the chart since the App Annie survey was launched, in 2018.
In 2020, even as TikTok grabbed the No 1 spot, Facebook’s flagship app, and its WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger, took the other five slots on the top 5.
In China, where TikTok is headquartered, its owner ByteDance held the top spot with Chinese language video app Douyin, said the report. In Asia (excluding China), Facebook retained the top slot, and TikTok was the second most downloaded app.
Among the biggest gainers in the pandemic year was instant messaging app Telegram, said a Nikkei Asia report. It became hugely popular with protesters in Hong Kong and Thailand, since its message disappearing feature helped them stay off the state radar.
Telegram jumped from the 15th position in 2019 to 7th in 2020 in Asia (excluding China). Globally, too, it moved up from position 8 to 7.
The BBC report recalled that TikTok is trialling a ‘vanishing clips’ feature, where the short videos would disappear after a single viewing or under similar settings. For instance, TikTok Stories may allow users to see content put up by accounts they follow for just 24 hours.
There are already similar features available on other social media apps such as Signal, Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram. WhatsApp has also introduced a feature whereby photos and videos vanish once seen, said the report.