The number of TikTok users in India is increasing at a much faster pace than anyone has ever imagined. In fact, arch-rival Facebook is yet to achieve the milestone that TikTok has reached in just a few years.
You must certainly be living under a rock if you haven’t yet noticed how the social media app TikTok is gaining massive popularity worldwide. This Chinese-origin social media app has for long been trying to close in on Facebook and its family of apps when it comes to growth.
In consonance with recent findings, TikTok has reportedly reached a whopping 2 billion downloads worldwide on both the Apple App Store and on the Google Play store. Interestingly, India emerged as the biggest driver of TikTok growth, accounting for 30.3% of the all unique app downloads worldwide. If we do the simple math, the number of TikTok users in India alone stands at 611 million.
According to Sensor Tower, TikTok is the first app after Facebook’s marquee app, WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger to break past the 2 billion downloads figure since January 1 of 2014. (Sensor Tower began its app analysis on that date).
The TikTok app after merging with Musical.ly was rolled out worldwide in the month of August in the year 2018. Therefore, it took TikTok less than two years to achieve this milestone.
TikTok’s growth trajectory, when compared to Facebook, is a lot more because the latter launched in the year 2004 and it took them a painstaking 13 years to reach 2 billion monthly users in Q2 2017. This shows that TikTok is increasingly becoming a force to reckon with in the entire social media space.
India, which is the biggest country by the number of users for both Facebook and TikTok now, has become the most important market to conquer. To put things in context, Facebook has 330 million active monthly users in India.
In India, the TikTok’s popularly got significantly fuelled by users from the suburbs, far from bustling metropolitan cities. TikTok with its 15-second bass drops, lip-syncs, and dating advice videos, in an unprecedented way, has been able to bring a new kind of Indian user into the fold of socially networked communication.
Aman Kumar who is the Chief Business Officer at KalaGato mentioned that a majority of TikTok’s users in India are in the age bracket of 18-35 years old and come from tier-2 and tier-3 cities.
TikTok Users in India: Monetisation Challenge
Now when it comes to revenue, TikTok, however, is still heavily reliant on its origin-country China which contributes close of 72.3% to its entire revenue share. As of right now, users worldwide have spent about $456.7 million on TikTok to date, up from $175 million five months ago. The revenue figure which the app generates from India particularly is not yet available. However, with 30% of its 2 billion unique downloads coming from India, TikTok can surely be expected to start minting some serious money from this country soon.
Traffic monetisation is not the only challenge for TikTok in India. It should be noted that the journey for TikTok in India hasn’t exactly been a smooth but perhaps a slightly rocky one. Not too long ago, in the previous year itself, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology of India probed an investigation into the app because of its lapses in privacy. The government was quite concerned particularly about the privacy of TikTok users in India. Tracking users’ behaviour which might be getting saved TikTok server, located somewhere in China, was another major concern for the Indian authorities. TikTok then had to go ahead and clarify that they would soon be setting up a data centre in India itself.
All said and done, it is quite evident that TikTok’s playful, short-video format and straightforward user interface have turned smartphones into a creator’s studio. Something which now allows aspiring actors, dancers and performers to gain recognition via leveraging the power of social media. It is a judgement-free platform that doesn’t require its users to pretend that they are on the internet for a good and productive reason. Therefore, whatever disdain it may inspire, its further growth and success in India is definitely undeniable.