TikTok dominated 2021 as the year’s hottest app

Tiktok 2021

According to Apptopia’s global list, TikTok had 656 million downloads in 2021

It’s followed by Instagram (545 million), Facebook (416 million), WhatsApp (395 million), Telegram (329 million), Snapchat (327 million), Zoom (300 million), Messenger (268 million), CapCut (255 million) and Spotify (203 million).

It’s noted that ByteDance is also the parent company for CapCut, a free video editing app that enables users to create and edit clips — which can then be exported to TikTok.

2021 had its share of unconventional moments, but mobile apps continued to be reliable tools for work, entertainment, communication, and shopping.

While people were hanging out using streaming TV services like Netflix or scrolling through social networking sites like Instagram, they also stayed in touch with Zoom and Facebook. But TikTok has established itself as the most popular app of the year.

Apptopia has compiled its list of the most downloaded apps of 2021, and the video sharing app has taken the top spot among global users. Apptopia gleans data from mobile app stores to examine which areas have the most growth and which brands have seen the most downloads.

By analysing information from Google Play and the iOS App Store, the company determined the top 10 mobile apps in the United States and around the world. TikTok, owned by ByteDance, ranks number one on both charts.

Compared to Apptopia’s 2020 results, TikTok still ranked # 1 but experienced higher download volume last year globally but 2021 saw downloads of the video app in the United States increase by 6 million.

Here’s the full list of this year’s top 10 most popular domains:

  1. TikTok.com
  2. Google.com
  3. Facebook.com
  4. Microsoft.com
  5. Apple.com
  6. Amazon.com
  7. Netflix.com
  8. YouTube.com
  9. Twitter.com
  10. WhatsApp.com

Hugely popular with the younger generation, TikTok was inspired by the introduction of other platforms such as Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts and Triller. In September, the viral app reported that it had reached a billion monthly active users worldwide.

However, like other social media platforms, the Chinese-owned Tiktok came under scrutiny by the government microscope.

In October, a TikTok executive denied during a U.S. Congressional hearing that he had provided information to the Chinese government and said he had taken steps to safeguard U.S. data.

Former President Donald Trump had tried to ban TikTok from US app stores, claiming that it collected data from US users that could be obtained by the Chinese government and posed a threat to US national security.

President Biden later overturned Trump’s plan, but sought a broader overhaul of various overseas-controlled apps.

TikTok and Google flipflopped for the top spot throughout the year — including in October and November, when Google reigned supreme.

TikTok dethrones Google as this year’s most popular domain

Google’s domain, first registered 1997-09-15 is a powerful force thanks to the company’s range of services, from Maps to Photos to Flights. But the search giant has just been humbled by new kid on the block TikTok, which nabbed the spot for No.1 most popular domain of late 2021, according to tech-security company Cloudflare.

Google.com ended 2020 as the most popular domain of the year, with TikTok.com ranked 7th. But things changed this year when TikTok rose to number one, putting Google in second place.

This comes as ByteDance’s proprietary social video app exploded in popularity during the pandemic, reaching 1 billion active users per month in September.

As people spent more time at home to help stem the spread of COVID-19, many turned to TikTok for entertainment and relief.

TikTok landed the top spot for a few days spread between February, March and May of this year, but after Aug. 10, it “took the lead on most days,” CloudFlare said in a blog post.

Matthew Giannelis

Secondary editor and executive officer at Tech Business News. Contracting as an IT support engineer for 20 years Matthew has a passion for sharing his knowledge of the technology industry. He's also an advocate for global cyber security matters.

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