TikTok ranked number one for global downloads in 2020, beating Facebook’s apps

TikTok unseated Facebook's suite of apps, including WhatsApp and Instagram to claim the title of most downloaded app worldwide

TikTok on the App Store

Short-from video app TikTok continues to prove popular as downloads soar — in 2020, it was the most downloaded app in the world. The app, made by China-based ByteDance, was also the most downloaded app in the U.S. despite government efforts to ban TikTok.

According to a new report based on App Annie analysis (via Nikkei Asia), TikTok surpassed Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram downloads worldwide. 9to5Mac points out that a recent Sensor Tower study backs up the popularity, noting that TikTok was the first app not owned by Facebook to pass 3 billion installs. It’s worth noting that Sensor Tower did not include pre-installed apps like Gmail (which has over 5 billion installations according to just the Play Store) in the rankings.

Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger still occupy spots two through five on the worldwide downloads chart, showing continued popularity despite growing concern over privacy. Snapchat sits in spot number six, followed by Telegram in number seven.

Nikkei points out that Telegram, a messaging app originally developed in Russia and now based in Germany, likely leapt up in downloads thanks to privacy concerns regarding other popular messaging apps. For example, when WhatsApp attempted to change its privacy policy to allow messages sent to businesses to be stored on Facebook servers, there was an uproar from users who feared the change would allow WhatsApp to share more of their personal data with Facebook.

Coupled with WhatsApp trying to pressure users to accept the new policy by threatening to limit app functionality for those who didn’t (a threat the company later backtracked on), many users switched to Telegram or Signal. It’s worth noting that Telegram encrypts normal chats in the cloud and offers end-to-end encrypted ‘secret chats’ along with other privacy features, which differs from Signal that offers end-to-end encryption for all chats (WhatsApp uses the Signal protocol for chat encryption).

Rounding out the top ten downloads worldwide are Likee, a China-based competitor to TikTok, Pinterest and Twitter.

Unfortunately, the data did not include download info for Canada. That said, at the time of writing, TikTok was the top free app in Canada on both the Google Play Store and App Store. That suggests TikTok remains quite popular among Canadians as well.

Source: Nikkei Asia, Sensor Tower Via: 9to5Mac