TikTok surpasses 2 billion download mark

The popularity of the video-sharing app continues to grow as people look for new ways to connect during the coronavirus pandemic, an analytics firm reports.

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The app known for its quirky 15-second videos enjoys its greatest popularity in India.

Angela Lang/CNET

TikTok, the popular video-sharing app known for its quirky 15-second videos, continued its rapid growth in the first quarter, despite concerns that users are putting their privacy at risk. The app has been downloaded more than 2 billion times from the Apple App Store and Google Play store, analytics firm Sensor Tower reported Wednesday, just five months after it surpassed 1.5 billion downloads.

Sensor Tower attributed much of the latest surge in popularity to the coronavirus pandemic, which has pushed more consumers to their mobile devices looking to connect with others during quarantines and social distancing efforts.   TikTok enjoys its greatest popularity in India, which accounts for 30.3% of its downloads, followed by China (9.7%) and the US (8.2%).

TikTok is a social media app where users, mostly teens and young adults, post videos of up to 15 seconds long, often synced with music. The app is owned by Chinese firm ByteDance, currently the most valuable startup in the world

However, the app has come under increasing scrutiny in recent months. US lawmakers have accused the app of being a threat to national security, and the US Army and Navy have banned the app from government devices.

TikTok didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.