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TikTok surpasses Facebook, Instagram as most downloaded app for 2019

The social media app is really gaining ground worldwide

FILE - In this Feb. 28, 2018 photo, Matty Nev Luby holds her phone and logs into the lip-sync smartphone app Musical.ly, in Wethersfield, Conn.
In this Feb. 28, 2018, photo, Matty Nev Luby holds her phone and logs into the lip-sync smartphone app Musical.ly, now known as TikTok in Wethersfield, Conn.
Jessica Hill, Associated Press

TikTok is now one of the most downloaded apps in the entire world, according to new data.

What happened: TikTok was the second most-downloaded app in the world for 2019, surpassing Facebook, Facebook Messenger and Instagram on the list of downloads, according to new data from Sensor Tower.

  • WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, was the most downloaded app in the world for the year.

By the number: TikTok had more than 700 million downloads throughout the world last year. The app has giant followings in the United States and China.

  • WhatsApp had more than 850 million downloads.
  • Facebook had under 700 million downloads.

Yes, but: TikTok had a surge at the end fo 2019 with 220 million downloads in the fourth quarter of the year alone — that’s 24% higher than the previous quarter, Yahoo Finance reports.

  • WhatsApp had a big end-of-year surge, too, climbing 39% during the fourth quarter of the year.
  • TikTok went from the fourth-most downloaded app in 2018 to second place in 2019, according to Yahoo Finance.

What is TikTok?: The social media app is popular among all age groups for promoting viral videos. The short videos — which range from 15 to 60 seconds — often produce comedy and whole entertainment, as I explained in my lengthy piece for the Deseret News.

  • That said: The app has been under fire from U.S. lawmakers, who worry that the app’s parent company, ByteDance, which is based on Beijing, might be surveilling the United States and collecting private data.