- TikTok got more traffic than Google this year, according to a ranking by Cloudflare.
- The app peaked in February, March, and June, and has retained the top spot since August.
- TikTok use has flourished during the coronavirus pandemic.
TikTok was the most popular website in 2021, surpassing even Google, according to Cloudflare.
Cloudfare’s 2021 Year In Review Internet Rankings said TikTok first slid into the top spot back in February of this year. But it wasn’t until August that TikTok consistently ranked highest in internet traffic.
The Cloudflare ranking was a dramatic shift from 2020, when TikTok held the number eight spot in the same report, with Google in the top spot.
TikTok, owned by the Chinese company formally known as ByteDance, became available worldwide in August 2018 when it merged with another popular app, Musical.ly. Internet influencers had turned to Musical.ly after Vine, a popular app where users could post 7-second videos, folded at the beginning of 2017. After TikTok and Musical.ly combined their services, the app rose in popularity exponentially.
TikTok saw particularly massive growth over the pandemic, as people of all ages flooded to the app that had previously been considered a platform mostly for teenagers. According to Statistica, TikTok saw growth in usage of 180% among 15-25 year olds. In the first quarter of 2020, when the effects of COVID-19 started to impact many around the world, TikTok saw 315 million downloads worldwide, Tug Agency reported.
In July this year, Sensor Tower data found that TikTok had been downloaded over three billion times — a milestone only Facebook had achieved before it. The app is now a go-to place for brands to market their products, and has even just floated the idea of opening ghost kitchens around the US.
The success of TikTok likely lies in its algorithm, which the company is notoriously secretive about. According to a document which was leaked earlier this month, the app purposefully diversifies its homepage — its famous For You Page — so users don’t get bored.