• Chinese short-form video app TikTok has been downloaded 1 billion times across Android and iOS, according to Sensor Tower figures.
  • TikTok was downloaded more times than Instagram in 2018, the data showed.
  • Just over 40% of the app’s 2018 downloads came from Indian users.

Chinese short-form video app TikTok has hit a major milestone, with one billion downloads across Android and iOS, according to app analytics site Sensor Tower.

Sensor Tower added that the billion figure did not include Android installs from China, so the real number of installs is likely to be much higher.

Roughly 663 million of TikTok’s total one billion downloads came in 2018, meaning it was downloaded more last year than Instagram, which garnered 444 million new downloads.

TikTok was the fourth most-downloaded non-game app for 2018, behind WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Facebook, Sensor Tower said.

Read more: A viral video app you've probably never heard of had more downloads in September than Facebook, YouTube, or Snapchat

Popular with children and pre-teens, Sensor Tower's data shows that TikTok seems to be taking off in the Indian market. In January 2019, 43% of the app's new users were from India, up from 9.5% in January 2018.

Its rise has been meteoric, and in September 2018 it outstripped Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat in total downloads.

TikTok started life as two separate apps, named TikTok and Musical.ly. Chinese tech company Bytedance bought lipsyncing app Musical.ly for $1 billion in 2017, and announced in August 2018 that it was scrubbing the Musical.ly name and merging it with its own app TikTok. Since then it has evolved into a short-form video app which has been likened to the now-defunct Vine.

TikTok on Wednesday launched a new safety feature allowing users to filter certain key-words out of their comment sections, accompanied by a series of educational videos about safety on the app.