TikTok Outranks Instagram In Global App Downloads This Year — But Where’s the Revenue?

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Photo Credit: TikTok

TikTok is taking the world by storm and leaving Instagram in the dust. A report looking at Q2 2019 shows TikTok still sits heartily above Instagram — at least when it comes to installs.

TikTok ranked number 4 ahead of Instagram in downloads for Q2 2019, with 28% year-over-year growth. The Chinese app has been locked in a battle with Instagram since acquiring musical.ly last year. TikTok’s US downloads have steadily increased each quarter in the US.

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This chart from SensorTower report showcases just how much TikTok is growing quarterly. At the end of 2018, TikTok was crowned the most downloaded iPhone app in the world. It had more than 500 million global monthly users and over 800 million app installs.

Impressively, TikTok now has over 1 billion downloads worldwide. TikTok’s audience is massively supported by the 18-24 and 25-34 age bracket.

40% of TikTok’s userbase is estimated to be teenagers. TikTok appears to be evenly split between male and female users, but its young user base brings concerns. TikTok boasts a 28% engagement rate for its users.

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Instagram’s audience is slightly older than TikTok, with the majority of users aged 18-29. Instagram’s audience is also skewed toward female users, while TikTok’s audience appears balanced. The main difference between the two is Instagram’s massive 95% engagement rate.

Many parents and governments are placing restrictions on TikTok. India banned the app for two weeks before eventually allowing the app. After that much-publicized two week ban, the app saw explosive growth in India.

Perhaps that result was obvious — especially given the younger demo.  Indeed, the more worried parents and governments get, the more installs TikTok is likely to reap.

But where’s the revenue going to come from?

TikTok is free to use for now without advertisements. Users can make in-app purchases for digital items like emojis and gifts for friends. From October 2017 to October 2018, TikTok saw a massive 275% increase in in-app purchases from users. This revenue model differs from Instagram, whose app is supported by ads.

Sounds like a potentially promising revenue stream ahead.  But one peek at this revenue chart shows why TikTok isn’t replacing Instagram any time soon.

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