The algorithms that companies like ByteDance, the owner of TikTok, deploy are immensely powerful. But it is difficult to argue that they serve the advancement of Chinese society. Image: AFP

Don’t look now, but TikTok is going tickety-boo on a global basis!

With 104.7 million downloads, the ByteDance-owned short-video app became the world’s most downloaded social media app in January, according to a report by research firm SensorTower.

The figure represented a 46% increase compared to the same month last year, Caixin Global reported.

TikTok also took the crown in January’s global downloads on both the App Store and Google Play, the SensorTower report said.

Users in India seemed most in love with the video app, with 34.4% of TikTok’s total January downloads coming from the South Asian country, followed by Brazil with 10.4%, the SensorTower report said.

In a public WeChat post on Wednesday, Nan Lu, a mobile insight strategist at SensorTower, wrote that TikTok and its Chinese version Douyin generated combined revenues of US$28.6 million from in-app purchases in January, 84.5% and 10.1% of which were attributed to China and the US respectively.

In January, other Chinese video apps, Likee and Kuaishou, ranked 4th and 8th in global downloads respectively, the report said.

Facebook came in as the world’s second most installed social media app with 61.9 million downloads last month, the report said.

In December last year, app data provider App Annie published a list of the world’s top 10 apps by downloads in 2019, which showed that TikTok, which is labeled by US lawmakers as a potential national security threat due to ByteDance’s alleged ties with the Chinese government, was the 4th most downloaded non-game app in the world.