TikTok, also known as Douyin in China, is a social networking site that focuses on video sharing and is owned by the Chinese firm ByteDance. User films with lengths ranging from 15 seconds to three minutes are hosted on the site. They originate from a range of genres, including dance, comedy, and education. It is an international version of the Chinese game Douyin, which was first launched in the Chinese market in September of last year. Despite the fact that TikTok was released in 2017 for iOS and Android in the majority of countries outside of mainland China, it was not made accessible globally until it merged with another Chinese social media site, Musical.ly, on 2 August 2018 to become TikTok Musical.ly.
TikTok and Douyin have almost identical user interfaces, however they do not have access to one another's content. Every one of their servers is located in the market where the corresponding app is accessible for download. Although the two items are similar in appearance, their characteristics are not identical. Douyin offers an in-video search function that allows users to search for additional videos of individuals using their faces, as well as other services such as purchasing, reserving hotels, and leaving geo-tagged reviews. Because of its popularity in East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the United States, Turkey, and Russia, TikTok/Douyin has quickly acquired appeal in many other areas of the globe since its debut in 2016. TikTok has reached 2 billion smartphone downloads globally as of October 2020, according to the company.
It was previously known as A.me when it was launched by ByteDance in Beijing, China, in September 2016. In December 2016, it was rebranded as Douyin. Eventually, ByteDance hoped to take Douyin on the road. As stated by Zhang Yiming, the creator of ByteDance, "Only one-fifth of the world's Internet users reside in China. In the absence of a worldwide expansion strategy, we will undoubtedly fall behind competitors vying for the remaining four-fifths of the global market share. It is thus necessary to expand worldwide." When Douyin was first launched, it only took 200 days to reach 100 million users in a year, with more than one billion videos being watched daily.
On September 2017, the TikTok app was launched in the international market under the name TikTok, which stands for "trick video." According to app store statistics from Thailand and other countries on January 23, the TikTok app scored first among free downloads in app stores.