Does TikTok Continue to Dominate the World Despite Its Controversies?

Isabelle Romualdez

Over the year, TikTok has continued to influence many people and even businesses. With the coronavirus coercing people to stay home, many scramble to find new ways of entertainment and interaction online. Hence, it’s not surprising at all that Chinese video-sharing social network, TikTok, garnered an immense number of downloads around the globe this year.

iPrice Group gathered data from Deepaso, determining which countries had the highest TikTok download index and the top 3 entertainment apps in each country. This study indicates the number of new user acquisition and reveals the surge in Google search interests of products that are included in viral videos.

Despite TikTok’s controversies and its maturity in a market

The USA recorded the highest download index of TikTok videos despite its recent controversy with the app. For now, TikTok reigns as the USA’s #1 entertainment app as it wins reprieve from Trump’s ban orders.

Speaking of controversies, India is still high up in #8 despite being banned and having 0 downloads for quite a few months now. This goes to show that the video-sharing app garnered so many downloads in India during the first months of 2020.

Interestingly, China falls behind the USA. The reason for this being so is due to the app’s maturity in the country. Despite that, Duoyin (what they call TikTok in China) still ranks #1 in the country as it continues to acquire more and more users.

TikTok is the #1 most downloaded entertainment app in the West and Southeast Asia

It seems that TikTok resonates really well in the West. iPrice recorded Germany, Canada, Italy, and the UK as part of the top 10 with the highest download index. Moreover, TikTok ranks as the most downloaded entertainment app in all the aforementioned countries. This is a glaring indication that the app is penetrating the Western market successfully this year by obtaining new users.

TikTok is also becoming a big hit in a lot of Southeast Asian countries. For all SEA countries recorded, TikTok remains to be the #1 downloaded entertainment app.

In the listed countries, Thailand and Vietnam have the third and fourth highest download index respectively this year. Given that both countries may face language barriers with English-speaking countries, this may indicate that the Thai and Vietnamese have recently started their own TikTok community. The same goes for Indonesia, as the country ranks #7.

The Philippines only ranks #11 with the most TikTok downloads in the list of countries, indicating that Filipinos may have already downloaded the app before 2020. This makes a lot of sense, given that the Philippines is a predominantly English-speaking country, and this enables them to relate to English videos around the globe. Nevertheless, TikTok still ranks as the #1 downloaded entertainment app in the archipelago.

Businesses should consider; TikTok’s influence today is more impactful than we may think

Warehouse worker from Idaho, Nathan Apodaca, probably didn’t know he was going to receive a free truck, let alone recognition from music legends by creating a TikTok video of himself skateboarding, drinking cranberry juice, and singing along to Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.”

Repaying Nathan with a truck was nothing compared to the surge of interests Nathan’s video drove in Ocean Spray’s cran-raspberry juice. His viral video produced many other reaction videos, even from Fleetwood Mac themselves. Because of his video, Google trends recorded a 1,329% surge in interests for Ocean Spray after comparing this to the search interests in September, a month prior to the viral video. Ocean Spray is even reported to expect a surge in sales by next quarter. This is every brand’s marketing dream and blessing from the sky.

Ocean Spray wasn’t the only product that garnered a high surge in search interests due to a viral TikTok video. Urban Skin RX saw a shocking 2,558% increase in Google search volume in January, after a simple video from @niceoneashley showed the world the amazing effects of the skin product in reducing her acne scars.

Similar results happened with Essence Kiss and The Ordinary AHA 30% and BHA 2% Peeling Solution. Both products saw an increase of 340% and 116% during the period the videos have gone viral. For The Ordinary’s case, however, its search volume interest kept increasing for two more months as it probably reproduced more organic videos from users talking about the product.

Big brands are a different beast

There’s been a video going around in May 2019 of people spraying shaving cream in their Crocs shoes before wearing them. Watching it is oddly satisfying, and since it is, this has become a viral thing for a while.

However, looking at Crocs’ Google search volume, there hasn’t been any notable shifts. This may indicate that renowned brands like Crocs don’t really garner more Google searches through guerilla TikTok videos and still continues to thrive with brand ambassadors (shoutout to J-Biebs).



The ranking of each country is based on the highest Tiktok download index recorded from Deepaso's database. Each top three entertainment apps per country were also based on the highest download index from Deepaso's database. The data obtained were from iOS' app store, where China's category is based on the ranking of the Photo & Video category, while the rest were based on the Entertainment category. Data gathered were from the period of January to September 2020. The countries were picked based on the app’s popularity, controversy in each country. Data of search interests were based on the search volume of each product from Google Keyword Planner (Google Trends for Ocean Spray's data as October 2020 data was still not available in Keyword Planner at the time of data gathering), comparing two months before and after the viral videos.

About iPrice Group

iPrice Group is a meta-search website operating in seven countries across Southeast Asia namely; Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, and Hong Kong. Currently, iPrice compares and catalogues more than 5 billion and receives about 20-30 million monthly visits across the region. iPrice currently operates three business lines: price comparison for electronics and health & beauty; product discovery for fashion and home & living; and coupons across all verticals.

About Deepaso is a professional App Store data analysis platform under Xiamen Yunzhiduan Information Technology Co., Ltd. It pioneered a large number of ASO in-depth data analysis technologies. They were the first in China to analyse and optimise overseas ASO data. They provide users with Apple's official App Store ranking data from the industry's top ASO optimisation analysis and data query tools. Currently, Deepaso supports: ASO keyword coverage analysis, keyword expansion mining, APP ranking estimation, APP download income estimation, intelligent word selection and other functions. They provide various ASO optimisation services, their own point wall CPA, and overseas ASO services. The professional and responsible attitude of the Deepaso team has won the company’s recognition and favor from well-known companies such as Tencent, Baidu, Kugou, and countless customers.

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