Dec 22, 2021 - Technology

TikTok surpassed Google as most popular site in 2021

TikTok image on a mobile phone being held
Photo illustration: Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

TikTok beat out Google for the most popular domain in 2o21, according to data from web security and performance company Cloudflare's 2021 Year in Review of internet traffic.

Why it matters: Video-sharing platform TikTok rose to massive popularity in 2021. Surpassing mammoths like Google, Facebook, YouTube and Netflix in web traffic shows the speed and power of the ascent.

  • Google and Meta-owned Facebook are well-aware of TikTok nipping at their heels, unveiling video-based features like Instagram's Reels to keep up and referencing the app when accused of having too much power and not enough competitors.

Driving the news: TikTok rose from No. 7 to No. 1 on Cloudflare's ranking of top domains in 2021, and it also beat out Facebook this year in social media domains, taking its No. 1 spot.

Of note: Cloudflare says it uses "a range of data ... about global Internet traffic patterns" to calculate its rankings but doesn't make clear exactly how it arrives at its list.

  • Cloudflare also only collected data for a few months in late 2020 compared to all year in 2021, so it is not a perfect comparison.
Go deeper