While its fate in the U.S. hangs in the balance, TikTok can add a fresh data point to its gargantuan growth story by way of how much internet traffic its app takes up relative to other digital giants dominating the planet.

The Chinese brand leapfrogged Amazon and Apple in 2023 to crack the top five bandwidth hogs, according to annual numbers from Sandvine, which tracks mobile and fixed networks worldwide. 

TikTok is behind only Meta and Alphabet among mobile traffic cloggers, while also behind Netflix and Microsoft among leading users of fixed networks. In addition to Apple and Amazon, which trail TikTok, Disney+ rounds out the top eight “supergiants” responsible for 65% of all fixed traffic on the Internet, according to the Internet — primarily video, which is by far the most used application. 

But Sandvine flagged the “meteoric rise” of TikTok, which contributes approximately 173 megabytes of daily average volume on mobile, with at least 36% of mobile users accessing the service each day worldwide. 

That 36% is even just slightly ahead of Meta-owned rivals Facebook and Instagram, both at 35%, and far ahead of X, which is only at 16%, among social media competitors.

Over fixed networks, the 64% user volume of TikTok is the highest percentage any brand commands across fixed or mobile in any one category, including audio, cloud gaming, communications, TV, device gaming, IoT, and conferencing.

However, YouTube is still the clear leader in most categories, including in the U.S., where it is still tops, with 14% of downstream volume, while Amazon Prime and Netflix tied for second at 11%. TikTok ranks seventh with 3%.

This data is a representative sample derived from dozens of Sandvine fixed and mobile network customer reporting across tens of millions of subscribers worldwide, anonymized and aggregated.

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