If you don’t know them, they’re one to the bn, coming in hard, you better watch it, er, Instagram. Okay, that’s enough TikTok viral rap references. The news is that the short-videos app has officially reached the milestone of one billion monthly active users (MAUs).
TikTok revealed the news in a short announcement blog post, although it did not give any other stats. We’ve got some to add context however. In July 2020, TikTok had 689.2 million monthly active users, according to legal documents filed as part of its lawsuit against the US Trump administration.
14 months later, it has more than one billion MAUs, which suggests that TikTok has been adding around 22.2 million users a month during that period.
That same court filing revealed that TikTok added 216.4 million MAUs in 2018 (so around 18 million a month), then another 236.4 million in 2019 (so 19.7 million a month). In other words, in the last 14 months TikTok has been adding more users a month than it was during its early growth.
As for demographics, earlier this year news site Social Media Today reported on a leaked TikTok pitch deck claiming that 59% of its audience were aged under 24, with 17% aged 13-17.
If those percentages have stayed the same, TikTok could now have 590 million under-24s on its service, which brands will cheer, although 170 million 13-17 year olds would show the challenges TikTok faces in terms of creating a safe environment for those teens (not to mention convincing regulators that it has done so).
As for the main competition, Facebook’s family of apps has 3.51 billion MAUs, but it doesn’t break Instagram out separately. Research firm eMarketer estimated that Instagram reached one billion MAUs in 2000 though, and expects it to hit 1.07 billion by the end of 2021.
That raises the prospect of TikTok and Instagram being neck and neck by the end of this year, and even of TikTok possibly overtaking its more established rival early in 2022, even it it’s still got some way to go to catch up to YouTube’s two billion-plus monthly logged-in users.