Despite challenges, TikTok remains world’s No. 1 non-gaming app

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TikTok continues to dominate the App Store in 2020.
TikTok continues to dominate the App Store in 2020.
Photo: Kon Karampelas/Unsplash CC

Despite the controversy surrounding it, 15-second video creation and sharing app TikTok remained the world’s most downloaded non-gaming app in July, according to a new report by Sensor Tower.

TikTok ranked as the No. 1 app on both iOS and the Google Play app stores, with more than 65.3 million installs in the month. This represents a 21.4% increase from July last year. In the first quarter of 2020, TikTok registered the best three months of any app ever when it comes to downloads.

Of the total installs last month, the United States made up 9.7%. Downloads aside, though, TikTok faced a tough time in the United States. Early in July, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States was looking into banning TikTok. Asked if people should download the app, Pompeo said, “Only if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”

Top apps July 2020: TikTok was the most popular app worldwide
These were the most popular apps worldwide in July.
Photo: Sensor Tower

Things only seem to have gotten worse since then. While talk of a Microsoft acquisition continues, President Donald Trump has taken issue with TikTok in a big way. Trump threatened to ban TikTok from the United States if its Beijing-based owner ByteDance doesn’t sell the app by September 15. This week, TikTok was targeted in an executive order regarding app transactions.

TikTok falls, rivals reap the benefits

Interestingly, a separate Sensor Tower report suggests that TikTok alternatives are currently booming in the United States. Despite being the No. 1 app for both June and July, TikTok’s monthly installs declined. Its July total fell almost 25% from 87 million in June. Its June total, meanwhile, dropped 20% from 108.7 million in May. Sensor Tower notes that:

“ByteDance’s competitors have benefitted from the uncertainty around TikTok’s future, and the largest alternative video-sharing apps to emerge are Triller, Zynn, Dubsmash, and Byte. These collectively saw nearly 1.5 million installs during the week of July 27 after the White House threatened to remove TikTok from U.S. marketplaces. This figure represents growth of 361 percent from the week of July 20, when those four apps saw an aggregate of 316,000 installs.”

In the week of July 27, rival apps Triller, Zynn, Dubsmash and Byte grew 361% collectively. Triller experienced the biggest boom in popularity of them all, rising a reported 1,227% week-over-week.