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Sunday, Sep 22, 2019

TikTok completes 1 year: 5 times the viral video app made headlines

TikTok launched globally in August last year. As the app completes one year, here’s a look at TikTok’s eventful past year.

tech Updated: Aug 03, 2019 12:39 IST
Marcia Sekhose
Marcia Sekhose
Hindustan Times
TikTok app completes one year.
TikTok app completes one year.(AFP)
         

TikTok, the viral short video platform has successfully completed one year. While TikTok has been around since 2016, it merged with Musical.ly last August to form a unified platform under the former’s brand. Soon after, TikTok’s popularity shot up making it close to the biggest social platforms, Facebook and Instagram.

India, in particular has been a key market for TikTok. ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company has been actively working in rolling out new initiatives and campaigns in India. The Chinese company has also seen many interesting events like facing a potential ban in the country. We take a look at TikTok’s eventful journey over the past year.

TikTok-Musical.ly merger

Musical.ly and TikTok merged last August to launch a new global short video app. Musica.ly first launched in August, 2014. The app allowed users to create short videos and add music tracks, popular movie and TV show dialogues. TikTok came much later in the scene launching its app in September, 2016.

The merger allowed musical.ly users to move to TikTok along with all their content. The new TikTok app launched with features like allowing users to ‘react’ to their videos. The app also added gesture filters like funhouse mirror camera effects and VR-like filters.

TikTok 1 billion downloads

TikTok achieved its milestone of 1 billion downloads earlier this year in February. SensorTower reported TikTok secured 1 billion downloads globally on Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store. The report also added that TikTok added 71.3 million users worldwide. This however does not include user stats from China.

TikTok was also the most downloaded app on App Store in Q1 this year. It continued to retain its number 1 spot on App Store for the fifth consecutive quarter. On Google Play, TikTok is the third most downloaded app after WhatsApp and Messenger.

TikTok India ban

TikTok’s explosive popularity in India led to the app facing a potential ban in the country. Madras High Court sought a ban on TikTok this April saying that the app is “encouraging pornography”. With the ongoing trial, the Supreme Court ordered Google and Apple to remove TikTok from their app stores. The app was still functioning in India but new users couldn’t download it.

The ban on TikTok app download was lifted by the Madras High Court in the same month. TikTok was still left with a warning that the company would face a contempt of court if pornographic material was uploaded on the app.

TikTok India userbase

While TikTok was facing a potential ban in India, the app was increasingly gaining users. TikTok has its largest userbase in India according to SensorTower. In its best Q1 ever, TikTok added 88.6 million users from India. TikTok’s two-week ban in India however cost the app around 15 million first-time users, Sensor Tower said. The app however quickly raced back to the top spots on App Store and Google Play after its ban was lifted.

TikTok Old Town Road

TikTok interestingly became an in-app streaming service by making Lil Nas X’s ‘Old Town Road’ the number one hit worldwide and even getting him a record deal. What began as a meme soon started getting shared multiple times on TikTok. It even led to country singer Billy Ray Cyrus collaborating for a remix and music video of Old Town Road.

Interestingly, TikTok is also planning to launch its own music streaming service. TikTok’s new app is slated for a release later this fall. The company has reportedly secured rights from T-Series and Times Music for the same.

TikTok Phone

Another product TikTok is planning to launch is the ‘TikTok Phone’. This smartphone is said to launch with pre-installed ByteDance apps like Jinri Toutiao news aggregator, its music streaming service, and obviously TikTok app. TikTok has reportedly partnered with phone company Smartisan earlier this year for the development of TikTok Phone.

#OneYearOfTikTok

Celebrating its one year anniversary, TikTok has started a new trend on the app. TikTok users can share videos on the app using the hashtag #OneYearOfTikTok.

 

First Published: Aug 03, 2019 12:17 IST