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TikTok Reaps Big From In-app Revenue During COVID-19 Crisis


TikTok and its Chinese twin app, Douyin app are ranking globally on mobile apps with the highest revenue generated for the month of April.

According to Sensor Tower, ByteDance’s  TikTok together with Douyin, which caters to the Chinese market, had 315 million downloads globally, up from 187 million this time in 2019.

The ranking was based on their in-app purchases and revealed a tenfold increase with the companies garnering $78 million (ksh8.4 billion) in revenue. 86.6 percent of Douyin’s revenue came from China with 8.2 percent from the US.

This places the meme making apps ahead of older names like YouTube and Netflix. Unlike the business which are subscription based, TikTok and Douyin allow users to purchase virtual currency which they can then spend on their favourite virtual creators.

Read: TikTok Faces Backlash For Allegedly Propagating Violence, Racism

ByteDance is exploring the world of e-commerce but is still relying on advertising as its primary income generator. The e-marketer has however projected that more than 75 million social network users from the US are likely to make at least one purchase from a social media channel in 2020.

The global app and its Chinese version have amassed over 2 billion downloads on Google playstore and Apple app store. It is the first app after Facebook’s marquee app, Whatsapp, Instagram and Messenger, to break past the 2 billion downloads figure since January 1, 2014.

Although a number of Google apps such as Gmail and YouTube have over 5 billion downloads on android, they ship pre-installed on most android smartphones and tablets.

Craig Chepple, a strategist at Sensor Tower, attributed some of the surge in downloads to the Corona virus pandemic, which has driven more people to explore new apps.

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Written by Vanessa Murrey

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