Short-form video app TikTok has been growing in popularity across international markets, including in the U.S. where a merger with Musical.ly has seen the app topping the App Store charts. Facebook and Snapchat have been hastily trying to copy TikTok’s features as a result. A part of TikTok’s ambitious global expansion plan has been its more recent targeting of emerging markets — like India and Indonesia — where the company’s quietly launched “TikTok Lite” app has been gaining ground in the latter half of 2018.
TikTok hasn’t yet made much fuss over its Lite version, which actually consists of two separate apps.
The first was launched on August 6, 2018 in Thailand, but is now available across other primarily Asian markets, including Indonesia, where it’s most popular, as well as Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines.
This version of TikTok Lite has grown to 5 million installs since its August debut. (It’s actually written with a lowercase “l” in “Lite” in the Play store, which is how you can tell the difference between this and the other app.)
This version was also briefly live in India, Brazil and Russia, but now these countries are served by a separate Lite app (written as “Lite” with an uppercase “L”), which launched on November 1, 2018.
This second version of TikTok Lite has now become the larger of the two, thanks to India. It has around 7.1 million total downloads, according to Sensor Tower data.
It has also now been installed across 15 additional non-Asian countries, including Egypt, Brazil, Algeria, Tunisia, Russia, Ecuador, South Africa, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Kenya, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nigeria, Angola and Ghana.
Combined, the two TikTok Lite apps have gained more than 12 million downloads in around six months’ time, TechCrunch confirmed with Sensor Tower.
However, TikTok Lite is not being heavily promoted at this time — especially when compared with the outsize marketing that TikTok’s flagship app has been seeing as of late.
And it’s spending, apparently: