TikTok tops 1 billion users as social media app's growth surges

·2 min read

More than one billion people around the world now use TikTok, according to an announcement Monday from the app.

TikTok is a popular video streaming and social media platform founded in 2016. Users flock to TikTok's mobile app for music, humor, dance and more, and its "For You" feed is generated by algorithms that learn what you like.

In 2016, TikTok's current parent company, Bytedance, launched the app, which is known as Douyin in China. In 2017, Bytedance announced it would acquire another video app called Musical.ly. The following year, ByteDance merged Musical.ly and TikTok into one and launched TikTok as an international brand.

TikTok's growth has been explosive since then, going from 55 million global users in January 2018 to 689 million by July 2020, according to Reuters.

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In contrast, rival Facebook has 2.9 billion monthly active users across the globe as of June 2021, according to its second quarter financial reports.

TikTok has also spawned several rivals, including Instagram Reels. Earlier this year, Google launched its own version of short-form videos called YouTube Shorts.

Last year, President Trump threatened to ban TikTok unless it transferred ownership to a U.S. company, citing cybersecurity concerns. As a result, TikTok agreed to partner with Oracle and Walmart, selling its U.S. operations to the companies.

However, a judge ruled to postpone the ban, and the sale has been put off as the Biden administration overturns Trump's ban and reevaluates the national security risk TikTok potentially might pose.

Michelle Shen is a Money & Tech Digital Reporter for USATODAY. You can reach her @michelle_shen10 on Twitter.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: TikTok reaches 1 billion users worldwide as growth surges

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