TikTok has had quite the 2019.

Just in case you somehow haven’t heard of the app that’s been embraced as a sort of Vine 2.0 (unrelated to the actual Vine 2.0), TikTok first launched in 2017 and quickly grew popular in countries like Japan and Thailand. At first, it was marketed and used almost solely as a lip-syncing app, with many folks making 15-second videos where they mouthed and/or danced along to popular songs.

But users have since broadened its content horizons, and now viewers can find everything from comedy to cats to cooking. TikTok got its first foothold in the West in August of last year, when owner Bytedance merged its user base with that of Musical.ly, a rival lip-syncing app already popular with U.S. teens. Just two months later, TikTok’s U.S.-based monthly app downloads began beating out those of YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.

The app grew even more this year. In June, it hit 700 million monthly active users across the globe, putting it not far behind Instagram’s 1 billion users. It also reportedly hit 1.5 billion total downloads, per data from app analytics firm Sensor Tower, making it the third most downloaded app on earth after Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Messenger. And TikTok’s not just appealing to your everyday user — it’s also popular with brands like Chipotle and Uniqlo, YouTube creators like David Dobrik and James Charles, Hollywood celebrities like Jimmy Fallon and Will Smith, and organizations like the NBA, the NFL, and the Washington Post.

Not everything in 2019 has been on the up and up for TikTok, though. Bytedance started 2019 off by facing a $5.7 million Federal Trade Commission fine stemming from Musical.ly’s illegal collection of personal data from users under the age of 13, and the Musical.ly/TikTok merger is also the subject of a second, currently-ongoing federal investigation into Bytedance. This one, brought sometime in the last couple of months by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, is looking into potential national security issues concerning how much censorship China-based Bytedance exercises over U.S. users’ content.

TikTok has repeatedly said Bytedance doesn’t interfere with its users and that TikTok data is kept entirely separate from its parent company, but moderation documents leaked in September appear to show TikTok mods being asked to remove videos about topics the Chinese government doesn’t approve of, perhaps explaining the app’s dearth of videos about the widespread Hong Kong protests. And, notably, TikTok last week faced widespread backlash for banning a U.S. teen whose videos protesting China’s so-called “reeducation camps” for Muslims went viral.

To mark the end of this long year, the app has released its first annual U.S.-based TikTok Top 100, recognizing the top 10 videos, creators, songs, and more across 10 categories.

You can check out all 10 lists right here:

TOP 10 VIRAL VIDEOS

  1. @daviddobrik — David Dobrik and Nick Uhas’s crazy take on Elephant Toothpaste (17.4M likes)
  2. @calebcutler — They did surgery on a banana (6.1M)
  3. @malorielynn14 — Swimming pool fun takes a hilarious twist (7M)
  4. @jayleennina — Man vs Wild: Roach edition (4.9M)
  5. @sammielewiss — The MFing Tea (2.1M)
  6. @jade13tr — This cat has the moves (2.2M)
  7. @brittany_broski — Kombucha Girl gives us her honest opinion (2M)
  8. @herecomedatkush — A wholesome hummingbird (1.5M)
  9. @kidkneesothra — Crocs + shaving cream (785.1K)
  10. @raeganbrownn — Bear suit daredevil (619K)

TOP 10 MEMES

  1. #POV
  2. #VSCOGIRLS
  3. #RiseandShine
  4. #Area51
  5. #imbaby
  6. #walkamile
  7. #DNAtest
  8. #MirrorFall/Run
  9. #Microwave_Challenge
  10. #TikTokChecks

TOP 10 ARTISTS

  1. Lil Nas X
  2. Mariah Carey
  3. Lizzo
  4. Stunna Girl
  5. Blanco Brown
  6. Y2k & Bbno$
  7. KYLE
  8. Luh Kel
  9. Billie Eilish
  10. Ashnikko

TOP 10 CELEBRITIES

  1. Will Smith
  2. Miley Cyrus
  3. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
  4. Howie Mandel
  5. Terry Crews
  6. Selena Gomez
  7. Arnold Schwarzenegger
  8. Steve Harvey
  9. Post Malone
  10. Shawn Johnson

TOP 10 BREAKOUT CREATORS

  1. @zachking
  2. @noeneubanks
  3. @jamescharles
  4. @lilhuddy
  5. @charlidamelio
  6. @nickuhas
  7. @glitterandlazers
  8. @mahoganylox
  9. @thisaintjay
  10. @curtisnewbill

TOP 10 DANCE TRENDS

  1. The Woah
  2. The Git Up
  3. Obsessed Dance
  4. Hey Julie
  5. Scary Spooky Skeleton
  6. The 223
  7. The Chucky Cheese
  8. Drop Dance
  9. A-Punk
  10. HBS Dance

TOP 10 CREATIVE EFFECTS

  1. Face Zoom
  2. Green Screen
  3. Disco
  4. Whirlpool
  5. Portrait
  6. Distorted
  7. Fire Breath
  8. Time Warp
  9. Infinity Clones
  10. Clown Makeup

TOP 10 PET VIDEOS

  1. @strykerthecat — A pro chicken hunter, who was saved from a cage, gets the best birthday gift (7.5M likes)
  2. @kodyantle — A wildlife conservationist gets chased by two tigers (6.3M)
  3. @marleymalin — What’s going on inside this cat’s head? (8.9M)
  4. @beingbirch — This puppy shares his life story (7.5M)
  5. @friendlyquest — A ferret shows off his dance moves (10.1M)
  6. @ame269 — When a hamster isn’t so cute and cuddly (4.4M)
  7. @hollyandhazelnut — The goodest dachshund puppies (5.3M)
  8. @mokshabybee — A baby jaguar goes swimming (4.7M)
  9. @huxleythepandapuppy — A chow chow puppy in a panda costume (4.8M)
  10. @divinefalcon0 — Not the pet we expected to be waiting at the door (3.5M)

TOP 10 BEAUTY & STYLE VIDEOS

  1. @youngnailsinc — Creating the perfect blue glitter acrylic (582.6K likes)
  2. @abbyrartistry — Checkered clown check (4.1M)
  3. @jamescharles — That contour and highlight, though! (3.5M)
  4. @glitterandlazers — Six different festival fashion trends (2.3M)
  5. @emilymunyak — Multicolor hair highlights (2.4M)
  6. @learnwithlati — Unicorn-colored braid! (2.3M)
  7. @jamescharles — Create an eyeshadow look by randomly picking three different colors! (2.2M)
  8. @victorialyn — The ultimate glitter mask (1.1M)
  9. @addyurdaddy — An 80’s inspired look (1.3M)
  10. @victorialyn — A purple-perfect Barbie inspired look (1.1M)

TOP 10 SPORTS HIGHLIGHTS

  1. @brodiesmith — Donating your phone to frisbee parkour (3.2M likes)
  2. @overtime — Lots of effort, but still a basketball fail (2.3M)
  3. @alsjdbwbdhhscristian — Try not to flinch (885.2K)
  4. @tylerdownss — Talk about focus (392.9K)
  5. @mozzaronnie — No hands needed here (909.6K)
  6. @b1akemckay — When the beat distracts you from the game (1.7M)
  7. @bennythebull — When being fans of different teams gets in the way of love (1.2M)
  8. @_er1k — Hitting home runs everywhere (277.6K)
  9. @nygiants — NY Giants player bun tutorial! (18.6K)
  10. @ryanwachendorfer — Snowboarding halfpipe practice (209.9K)

 

 

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