TikTok has dethroned Google as the most popular domain of 2021, according to Cloudflare’s 2021 Year in Review for Internet Traffic.
In 2020, the video platform was ranked 7th, while Google landed 1st. This year, TikTok took first place, followed by Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple in that order. Cloudflare’s 2020 and 2021 rankings don’t offer a perfect comparison; Cloudflare Radar, which compiles this information, was only launched in September 2020, so last year’s rankings only accounted for a few months.
Regardless, Google is aware of TikTok’s dominance. The site has attempted to increasingly focus on video and audio as the internet moves away from content people can read towards content people can see or hear. Platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and podcasts have largely led this shift.
The popularity of TikTok also shows how much people trust it. Google has long been a go-to place for fact-checking, but people may be increasingly willing to take people at their word on TikTok without conducting external verification. The platform added some measures to stop the spread of potentially misleading content, like adding banners on unverified TikToks and reviewing content reported by users.
According to a tech company that tracks online activity, TikTok has surpassed Facebook and Google as the most popular destination on the web for the first time.
In an analysis of internet traffic this year, storage software company Cloudflare found that TikTok was the most visited website and the most widely used social media platform. Cloudflare’s ranking is based on how much web traffic a website generated in 2021.
Chinese startup ByteDance launched TikTok in 2016. The platform garnered some attention a year later when it bought competing app Musical.ly, and its popularity began to soar in the US in 2020 with notable videos, including one featuring the Idaho resident Nathan Apodaca skateboarding and drinking Ocean showed Spray Cranberry Juice while listening to Fleetwood Mac.