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KEY STAT | TikTok surpasses WhatsApp to become the world’s most downloaded app in January

Short video becomes a news channel and live-stream platform amid the coronavirus outbreak.

After surpassing Facebook and Messenger to become the world’s second most downloaded app last year, TikTok and its Chinese version Douyin again notched its global popularity up. The apps recorded a combined download of 104 million across App Store and Google Play worldwide in January, leaving Whatsapp behind and becoming the world’s most downloaded app, per mobile analytics service Sensor Tower’s latest data.

Notably, since Sensor Tower’s calculation only includes App Store and Google Play, the actual downloads could be even higher when taking into account the third-party Android app stores, which are the main sources of Android apps in China and other countries where Google is either banned or local app stores are more prevalent.

Part of TikTok and Douyin’s crowning should be ascribed to the enthusiasm expressed by the Indian market, as well as the Chinese being “house arrested” during the current COVID-19 epidemic, which led them to mobile apps for online entertainment.

Additionally, Douyin’s in-app purchase during 2020’s Chinese New Year Holiday (Jan. 24-30) was 18.7 times higher than that of 2019.

SensorTower on its official WeChat account expects Douyin’s in-app purchase to keep growing in February and surpass iQiyi and Tencent Video, which ranked No. 4 and No. 6 respectively in January 2020’s worldwide non-game revenue chart.

Besides being a space of ease for those who stay at home or in quarantine, Douyin and other short video apps like Kuaishou are also important sources of information now in China, as media are delivering the latest news in the form of video. Offline businesses also—have to—adapt to the model of selling their products through live-streaming on those apps.