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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

Ina Fried, author of Login
Jan 14, 2022 - Technology
Column / Signal Boost

Tech giants play the blame game

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

With regulators around the world looking at reining in Big Tech, the companies in the crosshairs are increasingly eager to point out their rivals' sins.

Why it matters: Investigations in the U.S. and around the world are targeting Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon. To make their case, regulators need to show the companies are squelching competition — a task the tech companies may be aiding with their infighting.

14 mins ago - World

Scoop: Ukraine tells senators post-invasion sanctions are no help

Zelensky. Photo: Johanna Geron/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told U.S. senators visiting Kyiv this week that waiting to impose sanctions on Russia until after an invasion is of no use to Ukraine, according to four sources familiar with the discussions.

Why it matters: The Senate is currently working on a major sanctions package to deter Russia from attacking Ukraine. Democrats and Republicans are united in their support for Ukraine, but divided over whether it would be more effective to sanction Russia now to signal resolve, or hold up the threat of future sanctions to demonstrate the high costs of an invasion.

Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Starbucks has dropped plans to require that U.S. workers get the COVID vaccine or submit to weekly testing, the company announced Tuesday in a memo to employees.

Why it matters: The company's decision comes in response to the Supreme Court's ruling last week to block the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.