TikTok hits 3 billion downloads

And becomes the first non-Facebook mobile app to break the record.

Rae Hodge Former senior editor
Rae Hodge was a senior editor at CNET. She led CNET's coverage of privacy and cybersecurity tools from July 2019 to January 2023. As a data-driven investigative journalist on the software and services team, she reviewed VPNs, password managers, antivirus software, anti-surveillance methods and ethics in tech. Prior to joining CNET in 2019, Rae spent nearly a decade covering politics and protests for the AP, NPR, the BBC and other local and international outlets.
Rae Hodge
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TikTok has become the first non-Facebook mobile app to surpass 3 billion downloads globally, according to a Tuesday analysis from Sensor Tower. The milestone makes TikTok the fifth nongame app to cross the threshold, following WhatsApp, Messenger, Facebook and Instagram, which are all owned by Facebook. 

In the first half of 2021, TikTok became the most downloaded nongame app globally, boasting 383 million first-time installs early in the year despite being down 619 million installs in the first half of 2020. The 38% downswing of 2020 was attributed to the app's removal from the market in India. 

Read more: The TikTok saga: Everything you need to know

In the first quarter of 2021 downloads climbed 2% quarter-over-quarter, to 177.5 million, spiking again in the second quarter, with 16% quarter-over-quarter gains accounting for 205 million installs. In 2020, TikTok accumulated 315 million downloads, breaking global records in the first quarter and nabbing more downloads in a single quarter than any app. 

Read more: The TikTok Saga continues: Deal with Oracle and Walmart on hold