The world’s hottest iOS app is from China (and it’s not WeChat)
Smashing popularity in Asia propels Bytedance’s Tik Tok to the top
The world’s most downloaded iOS app last quarter wasn’t YouTube, Facebook or Instagram. It was Tik Tok.
The short-form video platform, known as Douyin inside China, also beat WhatsApp and Google Maps to claim the top spot, according to US research firm Sensor Tower.
Launched in 2016, Tik Tok is sort of like a fusion of Snapchat, Dubsmash and the now-dead Vine. Simple editing tools allow users to make 15-second clips by adding background music and psychedelic visual effects. The app shows an endless feed of video created by more than 100 million users (many are apparently teens) -- ranging from dance routines and silly stunts to random happenings and comedy skits.
Anyone who’s old enough to have been on Vine knows that watching looping short-form videos can be addictive. Tik Tok now ranks among the top free iOS apps in countries like Japan, Thailand and Indonesia. In China, Douyin is so popular that it added an alarm to warn users who spend too much time on it.
Besides Tik Tok, three other apps from China made the top 10 list. Tencent’s WeChat and QQ took the 7th and 8th spots, while Baidu’s Netflix-like video streaming service iQiyi ranked 9th.
Meanwhile the mobile game list is dominated by the international version of Tencent’s PUBG Mobile. (A second version of the game made only for China, PUBG: Army Attack, ranked 10th). Rules of Survival, another battle royale game from a different Chinese gaming giant, NetEase, came in at number five on the list.