TikTok, the popular short-form video platform, has achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first non-game mobile app to surpass $10 billion in consumer spending. This historic achievement was reported by the app analytics firm data.ai and highlights TikTok’s impressive growth and dominance in the global app economy.

Starting the year with over $6.2 billion in consumer spending, TikTok added nearly $3.8 billion throughout 2023, reaching an all-time high. This remarkable growth represents a 61% increase in consumer spending compared to the beginning of the year, demonstrating TikTok’s rapid expansion and popularity. The platform achieved this milestone through in-app purchases, primarily from the sale of “coins,” a virtual currency that allows users to give gifts to content creators. These gifts translate into real money for the creators, with TikTok receiving a commission on each transaction.

Significantly, TikTok’s primary revenue source is the $19.99 bundle of 1,321 coins, accounting for about 25% of its revenue. Although TikTok also generates income from e-commerce and advertising through TikTok Shop, these were not included in data.ai’s analysis.

In terms of regional contributions to TikTok’s revenue, consumers in the United States and iOS users in China are the major contributors, each accounting for approximately 30% of the in-app spending, combined contributing 60% of the total revenue. Other significant markets include Saudi Arabia, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Japan, together accounting for about 13% of the app’s in-app purchase revenue.

Despite reaching this milestone, TikTok took longer to achieve its first billion dollars in consumer spending (79 months) compared to gaming apps, which typically reach this mark in 20 months or less. However, once gaining momentum, TikTok’s growth accelerated rapidly, taking only 22 months to jump from $1 billion to $5 billion, and then just 15 months to soar from $5 billion to $10 billion.

YouTube and Tinder, currently trail behind by between $2 billion and $3 billion.

TikTok now joins an exclusive club of top-grossing mobile apps, including Candy Crush Saga, Honor of Kings, Monster Strike, and Clash of Clans, all of which have also crossed the $10 billion revenue milestone. It is worth noting that TikTok’s closest competitors in the non-game app category, YouTube and Tinder, currently trail behind by between $2 billion and $3 billion.

Looking ahead, TikTok is poised to become the highest-earning mobile app ever, with projections suggesting that its consumer spending might reach $15 billion in 2024. This forecast is supported by data.ai, which anticipates continued growth in TikTok’s revenue, driven by its unique monetization model that leverages virtual currency and a strong base of content creators and users globally.

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