Up 75% This Year, Now 33X More Users Than Nearest Direct Competitor

Being for sale is good for business, apparently.

At least, if you’re TikTok.

About one in six people in the United States is now a weekly user of TikTok, which has been under fire from the current administration and just announced a technology deal with Oracle that isn’t quite the sale that President Trump demanded. The hit mobile app just hit 53.5 million weekly average users in the U.S. in the first week of September, according to mobile analytics firm App Annie.

That’s up a staggering 75% from the start of the year. And it has 33 times more users than its closest direct competitor.

Plus, it’s making more money than any other app.

TikTok was the #1 top grossing app on iOS App Store globally in the second quarter of 2020, an App Annie representative told me, benefiting from consumers turning to mobile apps during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The hit mobile app, which is so addictive it acts almost like “digital crack cocaine,” is still climbing in users and consistently ranking in the top 10 of all apps for downloads, App Annie says. Competitors such as Likee, which has also been growing in 2020, only has 1.6 million weekly average users. Dubsmash and Zynn are at only 600,000, and Byte, another TikTok competitor, is down almost 900,000 weekly average users to only 200,000.

App Annie didn’t provide data on Triller, another TikTok-like app that, it says, doesn’t compete directly with TikTok but seeks an older audience. Triller was one of the massive beneficiaries of India banning TikTok, with co-owner Ryan Kavanaugh telling me “all of a sudden we were literally the #1 app in the category.”

In any case, while the Trump administration is still reviewing the Oracle deal with TikTok to see if it meets their approval, TikTok is clearly still in massive growth mode.

I guess no publicity is bad publicity, as the old saying goes.

One important note: while they are different apps with different user experiences, Snapchat and Instagram, which Facebook owns, both compete for teens’ time, even if they’re not direct competitors. Snapchat has been growing lately, as have many apps during Covid-19, while Instagram has introduced Reels, widely seen as an attempt to copy TikTok.

My take was that Instagram Reels feels exactly like TikTok, and almost nine in ten TikTok users who have used Instagram Reels agree.

These two apps would likely be the biggest beneficiaries of a U.S. TikTok ban … which is likely to be averted, given the Oracle deal.

Snapchat currently has 52 million daily average users in the U.S., according to Apptopia, while Instagram awards both of them at almost 140 million users every day.

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