Best of 2019: TikTok turned social media upside down


27/12/2019 09:26:00
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Over the course of 2019, TikTok managed to eventually overcome many controversies and consolidate its position as one of the biggest social media platforms in the world.

 

hort video sharing platform, TikTok, endured a topsy turvy 2019. From scaling great highs towards the end of 2018, the app ran into a number of controversies right at the beginning of the next year.

 

Over the course of 2019, TikTok managed to eventually overcome the controversies and get back to being one of the most popular applications on both Google Play and App store. However, in doing so, its journey showed just how profound an impact it has had on social media.

 

TikTok becomes a sensation

 

To understand the impact of TikTok, one first needs to look at the numbers involved. To begin with, TikTok now has over 1.5 billion users across all platforms and by the end of Q3 2019, TikTok had surpassed the likes of Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Snapchat in terms of App Store and Google Play installs.

 

Now, this is quite interesting because when TikTok was first introduced in 2016 as Music.ly it did not become an overnight success. In fact, it took the platform a good few years and even a rebrand before its downloads and monthly users started to swell in numbers.

 

The real upturn was seen towards the end of 2018, and this continued well into 2019, with the platform adding well over 500 million users in 2019 alone. In terms of growth, the app showed nearly a 100% growth in new users between Q1 2018-2019.

 

While these numbers are impressive, what’s more, interesting is that the prime growth driver for the app during this period turned out to be India. During the first quarter of 2019, the growth of TikTok was a result of new users in India, where an estimated 88.6 million new users joined the social media app. In comparison, only 13.2 million users joined the app in the United States another of its important global markets.

 

Of its user base, approximately 41 per cent are believed to be between the age of 16-24, hinting at just how impressionable the audience of the platform is. And that probably is its biggest problem.

 

Issues cannot be ignored

 

While the app’s popularity cannot be ignored, we cannot also gloss over the fact that the audience that swears by it is the one that has created the biggest troubles for the platform.

 

In 2019, India woke up to the reality of young, impressionable minds falling prey to the pressures of TikTok. The app faced strong backlash because of some high profile incidents that showed the platform in poor light and resulted in India joining the growing list of countries -- including Bangladesh and Indonesia -- where the app faced being banned.

 

In fact, for a brief period of time, the platform even faced one, with the Madras High Court ordering tech giants Google and Apple to remove the application from the Android and iOS application stores during the first few months of the year.

 

The move increased the heat on TikTok which had previously been under the scanner for a number of highly publicised incidents that had led to increased calls for bans against it.

 

While the ban was eventually lifted by the Supreme Court of India, the move did leave TikTok suffering major monetary losses. However, more crucially, it lost the momentum it had been building up over the last few months.

 

But its roller-coaster journey through 2019 aside, this year showed just how impactful TikTok can be and how it has the power to turn the set definitions of social media upside down.

 

 

PUKmedia \ indiaToday


 

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