Image Source: Forbes
TikTok dethroned Google in February, March, and June of last year, according to the rankings, and has held the top spot since August. Google was first last year, with TikTok, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, and Netflix rounding out the top ten. Cloudflare claims to track data using Cloudflare Radar, a web traffic monitoring technology. The viral video app generates more hits than the American search engine, according to Cloudflare, an IT security company.
The Covid epidemic is said to have contributed to Tiktok’s popularity surge, as lockdowns left people stranded at home and looking for ways to pass the time. TikTok had been downloaded over three billion times, according to monitoring firm Sensor Tower.
The social network, which is owned by a Chinese company called Bytedance, has over one billion active users globally and continues to grow. The app is called Douyin and runs on a different network to comply with Chinese censorship restrictions.
In September of 2016, Douyin was released for the first time. This year, China decided to limit users under the age of 14 to only 40 minutes each day on the platform.
TikTok was launched internationally in 2018 after merging with Musical.ly, a Chinese social media service that allowed users to submit videos of themselves lip-syncing to songs.
The social media platform is no stranger to controversy. Musical.ly was found to have hosted content created by underage users on purpose in 2019, causing it a temporary ban in India, a US counter-intelligence investigation, and a record £4.3 million fine. Because it is one of the few internationally successful Chinese apps, politicians and regulators outside of China have expressed concerns about security and privacy.
TikTok was forced to deny that it was under Chinese government control last year. Theo Bertram, TikTok’s head of public policy for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, said the company would refuse any data requests from China.
The app includes a variety of short movies ranging from comedy to dance to politics. The competition on TikTok has gotten so intense that being noticed on the platform is becoming increasingly challenging. Some businesses and individuals are even using these services to expand their Tiktok accounts.
Food and recipe videos have spurred TikTok’s rise, with viral clips gaining millions of views. As a result, TikTok Kitchen, a new food delivery service in the United States that allows users to order recipes inspired by popular videos, will launch in March. The menu will be based on the most popular food trends on the app, such as baked feta spaghetti, which was declared the most searched dish of 2021 by Google.
Robert Earl, the co-founder of TikTok Kitchen, is the owner of Planet Hollywood, Buca di Beppo, and Bertucci’s in the United States. According to him, some 300 TikTok eateries will operate for the first time across the country, with over 1,000 expected by the end of 2022.
Many of Mr. Earl’s restaurant enterprises will house TikTok Kitchen.