How popular is new app TikTok?

Lately there’s been some buzz about Chinese-owned TikTok.

Is everyone leaving Instagram, Facebook & Twitter to sign-up to TikTok, and should you be joining them?

Since the beginning of 2019, the TikTok app has been downloaded by 546 million people worldwide reports app data company Sensor Tower.

The app was launched by Chinese firm ByteDance in 2017 and allows users to edit and upload short bursts of video. If you haven’t used the app before, the videos look like a combination of Twitter’s old app called ‘Vine’ and videos that you see on Snapchat and Instagram Stories.

Graph showing Google searches in the U.S. for TikTok for the three months to the 16th October 2019

Data available via Google shows online searches for TikTok spiking during the first and second weeks of September 2019 in the US and Australia. But, the ‘TikTok’ trend quickly dropped off.

Graph showing Google searches in the Australia for TikTok for the three months to the 16th October 2019

How do Google searches for ‘TikTok’ compare to online searches for other social media apps?

90 day search graph for TikTok, Facebook, Instagram & Snapchat in Australia: 16th Oct 2019
90 day search graph for TikTok, Facebook, Instagram & Snapchat in the United States: 16th Oct 2019

Based on the past three months of web searches for TikTok, Facebook, Instagram & Snapchat in the United States and Australia, Google Trends shows a low level of searches for ‘TikTok’ when compared to ‘Facebook’ and ‘Instagram.’

The most encouraging trend in the above two graphs for executives at TikTok, is that the September interest in their app overtook search requests for ‘Snapchat’ — but, that only lasted for approximately two weeks.

Based on this data, TikTok could possibly become as popular as Snapchat — but, I don’t think it will ever become as popular as Facebook and Instagram.

I suspect that a lot of the 546 million people who downloaded the app onto their phone this year are no longer using it. And, for those who have not uninstalled the app, there would be a lot of location and other important data being sent back to the Chinese company that created the app.

Will TikTok go the same way as the FaceApp? Interest in the FaceApp was short lived. Search interest peaked for FaceApp during the middle of June 2019, and then quickly died when everyone had finished having fun (and concerns were raised about data privacy).

Graph showing Google searches in the US for ‘FaceApp’ for the 12 months to 16th Oct 2019

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