TikTok Flourishes in the US, Despite Government Ban

On December 29, 2022, President Joe Biden signed a $1.7 trillion federal spending bill, which includes a provision banning TikTok from any devices issued by the United States House of Representatives. Despite this, the eminently popular short-form video platform remains a dominant force in the American app market.

So, we wanted to see how well TikTok has weathered the proverbial storm. We analyzed the app’s performance in the United States, focusing on downloads, top chart rankings, and monthly active users (MAU).

Here’s what we found (click the links to jump to the relevant sections):

TikTok Has Been Downloaded 68M+ Times In the United States Over the Past Year, Including 8.7M+ Times Since December

The chart above depicts daily US downloads for the Android (black) and iOS (red) versions of TikTok over the past year (January 19th, 2022 - January 18th, 2023).

In total, the two apps tallied a massive 68,163,682 downloads. While the Android version registered 33,363,332 downloads, the iOS version beat it with 34,800,350. Monster numbers all around.

But how has TikTok performed in the wake of the United States’ new legislation? Not too bad, as it turns out:

This chart shows the same data as the previous one, but focuses on the period between December 1st, 2022 and January 18th, 2023, when the apps combined for 8,748,663 downloads.

Dates of interest here include December 13th, when a bipartisan group of lawmakers first introduced the ban in Congress, and December 29th, when Biden signed the legislation into law.

As you can see, it’s hard to draw any  firm conclusions from the data. TikTok regularly pulls in more than 200,000 downloads per day, and the events noted above appear to have had little impact on the app’s daily performance. Indeed, aside from a brief dip among Android downloads in mid-January, it’s been pretty smooth sailing for TikTok.

TikTok Remains a Top 5 App In the United States

TikTok’s resilience shows up in app store top charts as well. As the image above indicates, the app’s performance in the ‘Social’ category (Android) and ‘Entertainment’ genre (iOS) has been remarkably strong.

Indeed, the Android version of TikTok, shown in black, has had a stranglehold on the top spot since December 2nd; while the iOS version, shown in red, has fluctuated between first and second since the beginning of December.

However, TikTok has also performed well outside of category- and genre-specific charts. Currently, it sits at third among all Android and iOS apps in the United States. Check it out:



The Android Version of TikTok Has 46M+ Monthly Active Users (MAU)

Finally, it’s worth pointing out that TikTok’s Android user base has grown pretty significantly over the past few months. According to our data, the Android version of the app had 46,454,484 MAUs in December 2022, up from 39,683,619 MAUs in March 2022. It’ll be interesting to see if this continues through January, but early returns suggest the ban has had a negligible impact on usage.

Moreover, while we don’t have the iOS numbers yet, there’s a good chance they’re pretty comparable. As noted above, the Android and iOS versions of TikTok were downloaded 33 and 34 million times, respectively, this year. Assuming these downloads translate to similar MAUs, then TikTok is likely nearing 100,000,000 users in the United States.

Final Thoughts

In short, TikTok’s performance in the United States has been largely uninfluenced by the recent congressional ban. The app still hauls in hundreds of thousands of daily downloads, dominates US top charts, and registers tens of millions of monthly active users.

Of course, the concern for TikTok is that this bill was just an opening salvo. Already, 19 states, including Texas, Georgia, and Tennessee, have passed similar legislation at the state level. Meanwhile, as calls for more comprehensive bans pick up steam, TikTok has offered to increase transparency by granting US officials oversight of its algorithms.

In any event, this will certainly be an interesting space to watch going forward.

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