Tik Tok media App Illustration

In this photo illustration, the social media application logo, Tik Tok is displayed on the screen of an iPhone on March 05, 2019 in Paris, France. The social network broke the rules for the protection of children's online privacy (COPPA) and was fined $ 5.7 million. The fact TikTok criticized is quite serious in the United States, the platform, which currently has more than 500 million users worldwide, collected data that should not have asked minors. TikTok, also known as Douyin in China, is a media app for creating and sharing short videos. Owned by ByteDance, Tik Tok is a leading video platform in Asia, United States, and other parts of the world. In 2018, the application gained popularity and became the most downloaded app in the U.S. in October 2018.

(CNN) -- TikTok has hit one of the most exclusive milestones in the tech industry.

The company said in a blog post Monday that it now has more than 1 billion monthly active users around the world, making it the rare social media application not owned by Facebook or Google to claim an audience of that size.

The short-form video app's popularity surged as people spent more time on their phones during the pandemic. It has also both benefited from and fueled the growth of the creator industry, as more people look to make a living from posting content to social media sites.

The growth of the Chinese-owned app comes despite an effort by former President Donald Trump's administration last year to shut down TikTok in the United States. And while Trump's effort ultimately fizzled, the app has been banned in India and faces scrutiny from European regulators over its data protection practices and children's safety.

TikTok has also maintained its popularity despite rivals launching copycat products, including Instagram's Reels, YouTube's Shorts and Snapchat's Spotlight.

The app's monthly active users in August were up 25% compared to the same month last year, according to app store intelligence firm Sensor Tower.

The announcement solidifies TikTok's place among the competitive ranks of legacy social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Facebook-owned Instagram, the latter of which hit 1 billion monthly users in June 2018. By contrast, Snapchat, which has been around nearly twice as long, said earlier this year that it had reached 500 million monthly active users. When Twitter last reported this metric in 2019, it had 330 million monthly active users.

During the pandemic, TikTok was successful in drawing in more millennials and high-profile creators from Instagram and other sites. TikTok also launched a $1 billion creator fund last year to encourage users to create content on the platform.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

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