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TikTok overtakes Google to become most popular site on the planet

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TikTok overtook Google to become the most visited website in the world in the second half of 2021 (Getty Images)
TikTok overtook Google to become the most visited website in the world in the second half of 2021 (Getty Images)

TikTok has dethroned Google to become the world’s most visited website, new data has revealed.

The viral video app ended the search giant’s dominance, which had seen it rank as the most popular domain for all of 2020 and the first part of 2021.

Google.com – which includes Maps, Translate, Photos, Flights, Books, News, and others – was unable to stave off the challenge posed by its nascent rival, which now counts more than 1 billion active users around the world.

TikTok.com also overtook other US tech behemoths that ranked above it last year, including the domains of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Netflix.

Its parent company, China-based ByteDance, was the only non-US site to feature in the top 10.

TikTok’s ascendency was recorded by security firm Cloudflare’s Year in Review, which noted that its unrivalled popularity began to emerge towards the beginning of the year.

“It was on 17 February, 2021, that TikTok got the top spot for a day,” Cloudflare wrote in a blog post detailing the web trends of the last year.

“In March, TikTok got a few more days and also in May, but it was after 10 August, 2021, that TikTok took the lead on most days. There were some days when Google was #1, but October and November were mostly TikTok’s days, including on Thanksgiving (25 November) and Black Friday (26 November).”

 (CloudFlare)
(CloudFlare)

One of the reasons cited for users flocking to the short-form video app en masse in 2021 has been the Covid-19 pandemic, which has forced people to spend more time indoors and away from real-life social gatherings.

These online browsing patterns continued even when lockdown restrictions came to an end, with separate analysis published by Virgin Media O2 on Wednesday revealing that “the summer of freedom” created an opportunity to refresh and update their social media accounts.