When Did TikTok Come Out? The True History of TikTok 

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TikTok has taken the world by storm, with its short-form videos capturing the attention of over 1 billion monthly active users worldwide. But when did this social media phenomenon first appear?

TikTok, also known as Douyin in China, is ByteDance’s short-form video-sharing app. It features a wide range of short-form user videos, ranging from 15 seconds to 10 minutes, in genres such as dance, pranks, tricks, jokes, and entertainment.

It has become insanely popular, boasting 1 billion monthly active users worldwide, coming close to Instagram with 1.21 billion monthly active users.

In this article, we’ll explore the history of TikTok, from its inception in China to its meteoric rise in popularity around the globe. We’ll also delve into why TikTok has become such a cultural force, examining its unique algorithm and diverse content offerings. Join us for a deep dive into the world of TikTok and discover what makes this app so addictive and valuable.

Here’s the history of the emergence of TikTok.

When did TikTok first come out?

TikTok first came out in 2016, after the launch of Douyin the same year. 

when did TikTok come out

In 2012, Zhang Yiming, a serial engineer, founded ByteDance in Beijing. 


In 2014, Alex Zhu, a Chinese product designer, launched Musical.ly


This is why when Zhang launched Douyin in 2016, many regarded it as a Musical.ly clone. 

When did TikTok come out in the US?

TikTok merged with Musical.ly and launched in the United States in August 2018. It soon becomes popular, becoming the first Chinese software company’s social media app to attain that degree of popularity there.

In October 2018, just two months after the launch in the US, TikTok surpassed Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram in the number of downloads. 

In Feb 2019, TikTok reached 1 billion installs on App Store and Google Play. 

TikTok Valuation

Based on the private sale of a small stake in the company, ByteDance was worth approximately $140 billion by mid-2020. TikTok alone is estimated to be worth $50 billion.

Source: Reuters

Why is TikTok so Popular?

TikTok has grown so prominent due to its online community, the variety of content, and its algorithm. 

To begin with, TikTok is available in 155 countries and 75 languages. As a result, almost anyone with an internet connection can become a member of the TikTok community. 

Moreover, TikTok has developed from popular dance and lip-sync videos to incorporate different types of content throughout the years. New TikTok users are encouraged to choose what they wish to view on the app, from comedy, baking, cooking, sports, DIY, animals, cosmetic treatments, and so on. 

Finally, TikTok employs an algorithm that displays content tailored to the user’s previous activities to predict the types of videos that can boost user engagement. 

When a new video is posted, the algorithm will show it to a select group of users. TikTok will promote videos with high user engagement (likes, shares, and view time) to new users with similar interests. If the process is repeated enough times, the video may go viral. 

This happens regardless of how many followers the creator has, consistent with TikTok’s idea that good content travels far. Therefore, it encourages users to create high-quality content, further contributing to TikTok’s success. 

TikTok for Business

TikTok’s popularity has made it an attractive platform for businesses to reach out to their target audience. With its unique algorithm and diverse content offerings, TikTok has become a powerful tool for social media marketing.

TikTok for Business offers a range of advertising options, including brand takeovers, in-feed ads, and sponsored hashtag challenges. These advertising options allow businesses to reach out to their target audience in a creative and engaging way.

TikTok for Business | Marketing & Advertising on TikTok

TikTok for Business is a powerful marketing tool that allows businesses to reach and engage with a global audience through short-form videos. With its user-friendly interface and extensive targeting options, businesses can create captivating content, collaborate with influencers, and run effective advertising campaigns to promote their products or services.

TikTok's algorithm ensures that businesses' content is shown to the right audience, maximizing brand exposure and driving conversions. Whether it's building brand awareness, driving website traffic, or increasing sales, TikTok for Business provides businesses with the tools and resources they need to succeed in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

In addition, TikTok offers a range of tools to help businesses track their performance and measure their return on investment (ROI). These tools include a dashboard that tracks ad performance, a pixel that tracks website conversions, and a custom audience feature that allows businesses to target specific groups of users.

Overall, TikTok for Business is a valuable tool for businesses looking to connect with their target audience in a fun and engaging way. With its massive user base and unique algorithm, TikTok offers businesses a powerful platform for social media marketing.

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