ByteDance: Is TikTok Bigger than Instagram?
We are witnessing the Fall of Facebook in Asia
In the history of social media, bigger has always meant better. Facebook’s has driven a vanity metrics valuation, and the rise of ByteDance, one of the star app producers of China has meant Asia is being dominated by a newcomer.
TikTok vs. Instagram illustrates this point fairly well.
- TikTok was bigger than Instagram last year after passing the 1 billion download mark
- With weakness on Facebook’s flagship app, and WhatsApp lacking a monetization feature, Instagram is the last app of Facebook to retain younger consumers.
- From news aggregation to micro video, it appears ByteDance is winning in the attention economy signaling a shift to Chinese apps in Asia, and possibly globally.
Will Asia lead the next gen of Apps?
In cryptocurrency exchanges, Binance does seem to be outperforming Coinbase showing the rising importance of the Asian consumer and startup.
In an internet where Facebook clones and copies competitors, one thing it cannot replicate is Asia’s population density and viral features of ByteDance apps that are dominating everything from micro video, to humor to news aggregation apps like Toutiao.
The problem? Facebook hasn’t created a hit app in years and it’s two best products Instagram and WhatsApp were acquisitions where the top executives had to leave due to differences in ethics and strategy with the founders.
Facebook’s Losing clone-war strategy
Recently Facebook in early November released Lasso, a social app that lets users watch and create short videos that are usually set to songs. The app is nearly identical to TikTok, except when it comes to download stats.
Facebook on a regular basis boasts about its global reach in consumers, yet this masks the many failures of how many apps its killed either by acquisition or by failure to drive downloads. In 2019, ByteDance appears to be a far smarter company in terms of strategy, ability to sync with younger users and in creating apps that are both fun and personalized with AI.
TikTok has been downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play by 39.6 million U.S. users since early November. This is according to SensorTower data, an app market intelligence firm. In that same time period, Lasso has been downloaded by 70,000 users. The verdict? Facebook might have a hard time moving forwards against the “Facebook of Asia”, this most valuable startup in the world called ByteDance.
ByteDance > Facebook in India
According to SenseTower ByteDance is winning:
- TikTok was downloaded more times than Instagram in 2018, the data showed.
- TikTok saw 6.4 million January app downloads in the U.S. compared to Lasso’s 15,000
- Just over 40% of the app’s 2018 downloads came from Indian users.
TikTok is just one of the successful apps going viral in Asia, but it’s now a direct threat to the future of Instagram globally after rapid growth in the last 18 months. By 2020, it will have surpassed Instagram’s popularity to become the dominance micro video entertainment and viral sharing app in both East and South Asia with a decent uptake among North American teens as well.
The Fall of Facebook?
The popular app musical.ly was acquired and merged into TikTok, that’s called “Douyin” in mainland China.
Roughly 663 million of TikTok’s total one billion downloads came in 2018, meaning it was downloaded more last year than Instagram, which garnered 444 million new downloads. In a world of vanity metrics, this means Facebook is losing its grip on the global app ecosystem.
TikTok was the fourth most-downloaded non-game app for 2018, behind WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Facebook, Sensor Tower said. TikTok’s ability to create viral apps means it is the first-comer of a new wave of startup in China that is able to create superior apps to the G-MAFIA.
TikTok is becoming popular among American young people too, in an era where Instagram is blocked in China. The SenseTower data means China is beating Silicon Valley in apps.
2018 was the year of ByteDance & TikTok Growth
It’s a weird world when TikTok has done what Snapchat couldn’t do. According to data from app intelligence firm Sensor Tower, TikTok’s installs were higher than those of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube in the U.S. last month.
It surpassed the four other apps in terms of daily downloads on September 29, with 29.7 percent the downloads from this cohort of apps, the firm says.