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TikTok becomes world’s most downloaded app thanks to Tokyo Olympics


TikTok has defeated Facebook and has become the world’s most downloaded application in July 2021. The Chinese application has defeated Facebook, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram which were dominating for many years. But for this month, Tokyo Olympics was also a major part of TikTok’s success.

TikTok was the most downloaded non-gaming app worldwide for July 2021 with over 63 million installs. Not only for a month, but TikTok also topped the list in a recent statistics report by Japan Economic News. Facebook-owned social media platforms including WhatsApp,  Instagram, and Facebook Messenger take the top 5 positions. At number 6, comes Snapchat. While Russia’s chat app Telegram ranked seventh and China’s short video app Likee ranked eighth. At number 9 and 10 come Pinterest and Twitter respectively.

How TikTok became the world’s most downloaded app?

During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, TikTok saw a download surge. People started shooting indoor videos, and as a result, TikTok got a lot more popularity. Other platforms did have video capabilities. However, TikTok’s original short video feature was liked by the public. With less than 60-seconds of video, it was easy for people to record and get maximum reach too.

TikTok is thriving with the Tokyo Olympics

Even Tokyo Olympics got covered on TikTok. Not only fans are posting videos but the athletes posted TikToks too. British swimmer Adam Peaty after winning the men’s 100m breaststroke shared his victory on TikTok.

“We’re living in a time where Olympic athletes casually make TikToks after winning a gold medal,” reads one comment. From victory posts to a small clip of a day in life were published. Being an athlete doesn’t make you stop being a TikToker. Here are some of the most popular Olympic stars on TikTok shared by BBC.

  • Sam Fricker, 19, Australian diver: 1.1 million followers. Posts up to 10 TikToks a day about athlete life at the Games. Has a chatty, affable style.
  • Ilona Maher, 24, US Rugby Sevens: 725,000 followers. Known for sassy takes and “thirsty” videos for “tall foreign demigod Olympians”.
  • Tyler Downs, 18, US diver: 913,000 followers. One of the first Olympians to go viral over being starstruck seeing Simone Biles.
  • Margie Didal, 22, Filipino skateboarder: 1.5 million followers. The skating sensation’s cheerful charisma made her a standout in front of both TV and phone cameras.

I will end the article with a quote from Jonathan Hutchinson, a social media expert at the University of Sydney.

“This is the TikTok-athlete generation. Or the athlete-TikTok generation. I’m not sure which one comes first,”

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