So far, 2020 has been a year of chaos, uncertainty and grief. A global pandemic, record unemployment and nationwide protests have left people reeling. Through it all though, there’s been TikTok, providing moments of levity and new dance crazes, interspersed with more serious commentary on the issues we face.
So far, TikTok is the most downloaded app of the year. Since its global release less than two years ago, TikTok and its Chinese counterpart, Douyin, have amassed 800 million monthly active users, more than Reddit, Snapchat or Twitter. Its parent company, China-based ByteDance, is the most valuable private tech company in the world, with an estimated value over $100 billion.
But it’s not all rosy. TikTok faces a slew of regulatory hurdles, privacy concerns and allegations of censorship, tied to its Chinese ownership. Amid these struggles, it’s brought in a new CEO, Kevin Mayer, formerly head of streaming at Disney. Experts say tackling these issues will be Mayer’s top priority.