2021: Most visited sites and social media platforms, according to Cloudflare

For the first time ever, Facebook and Google have been dethroned as the most popular destinations on the internet.

This is according to an analysis of web traffic throughout the year by storage company Cloudflare that found TikTok to be the most visited website and also the most visited social media platform. Cloudflare’s ranking is calculated on how much web traffic a site generated throughout the year.

TikTok’s growth has been nothing short of exceptional. It was first launched by ByteDance, a Chinese company, in 2016. However, it took more than a year until the company bought rival app Musical.ly before its user base started growing exponentially.

Fast-forward to 2020, and a combination of increased marketing campaigns and the COVID-19 pandemic created a perfect recipe for the platform to really take off outside of China. Various TikTok challenges that went viral when the world was isolating made it possible for the app to infiltrate even those who do not have a particularly good outlook on Chinese made software.

Despite this massive growth, Cloudflare reports that the platform still never rose higher than position 7 in web traffic until the turn of 2021.

“It was on February 17, 2021, that TikTok got the top spot for a day. Back in March, TikTok got a few more days and also in May, but it was after August 10, 2021, that TikTok took the lead on most days,” Cloudflare’s João Tomé and Sofia Cardita wrote on the blog post.

Cardita and Tomé noted that the top spot exchanged hands a few times between Google and TikTok in the months of October and November, but the Chinese app dominated on most days, including Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

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Top Ten Most Visited Internet Sites in 2021

  1. TikTok
  2. Google
  3. Facebook
  4. Microsoft
  5. Apple
  6. Amazon
  7. Netflix
  8. YouTube
  9. Twitter
  10. Whatsapp

Top Ten Most Visited Social Media Platforms in 2021

  1. TikTok
  2. Facebook
  3. YouTube
  4. Twitter
  5. Instagram
  6. Snapchat
  7. Reddit
  8. Pinterest
  9. LinkedIn
  10. Quora

Despite this, Facebook still remains the most widely used social network, with 2.9 billion monthly active users and 1.9 billion daily users. This is according to Meta’s company regulatory filings.

In comparison, Cloudflare reports that more than 1 billion users sign on to the TikTok platform monthly, the majority of which are children and teenagers. This age demographic in turn attracts entertainers whose audience falls in line with the group.

Like Facebook and Instagram, TikTok is no stranger to controversy. There have been calls from different quarters pressuring the platform to put more measures with the aim of protecting teenagers and children from harmful unregulated content while at the same time coming up with ways to ensure addiction to the social media platform is curbed.

“TikTok is about entertainment and bringing joy… You put a premium on authentic content, uplifting content. But like all entertainment, you want to watch with moderation, and we put tools in place, take-a-break video, screen time management, and tools for parents like family pairing to make sure that they can have conversations and do what’s right for their family and their teenagers.” Michael Beckerman, TikTok’s head of public policy.

It is worth noting that TikTok is not available in China, as it has content that does not comply with Chinese laws. Instead, it has a sister app by the name Douyin that is pretty much the same, except its contents abide by the laws in the country.

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Naftaly is a Computer Science graduate with a passion for tech, video games and pop culture. When he is not writing articles for AndroidKenya, he is probably rewatching the Lord of the Rings trilogy for the hundredth time. Email at criskariuki@gmail.com Twitter @KarisNaftaly