TikTok has announced it has hit a milestone of one billion monthly users five years after the app launched and despite political headaches.
“TikTok has become a beloved part of life for people around the world because of the creativity and authenticity of our creators,” the company wrote in a blog post.
“Our global community is remarkable in its ability to reach millions of people, across generations.”
According to Statista, TikTok was the most-downloaded app in the Apple App Store in July 2021.
TikTok history and political controversy
TikTok is an international version of the Chinese app Douyin which first launched in its local market in 2016.
It became available on iOS and Android in other countries the following year.
The app lets users create, edit, and share short videos with other users. It features a wide range of video editing tools and background music options.
In recent years, TikTok has been subject to political scrutiny with some countries taking action against the app and its owner, ByteDance.
In August 2020, then-US President Donald Trump signed an executive order that would block TikTok and messaging app WeChat from processing data for US citizens.
The order would also block the apps on US app stores from 20 September due to security concerns.
That same month, Trump signed another order that stated TikTok would face a complete US ban if ByteDance did not sell its US operations company by 14 November.
This year, President Joe Biden withdrew Trump’s executive orders and ordered the US Commerce Department to review security concerns the app and others posed.
Other countries such as India and Pakistan have both banned the app entirely.