TikTok has for the first time replaced Google as the most-visited site in the US, new figures show.
Cloudflare, an IT security company, found that the social media service’s popularity has grown steadily over the course of this year.
It displaced Google for a few days at a time in February, March and June, and has held the number one position since August.
TikTok first took the top spot for the first time for a day on 17 February, and from 10 August began taking the lead “on most days”, Cloudflare said.
Google returned to the No. 1 position a few times in October and November. The search engine was the top site for the US last year.
Other sites in the top 10 for this year included Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and YouTube – which is owned by Google.
The top 10 social media sites, after TikTok, included Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Reddit.
Up until this year TikTok had never risen higher than No. 7 in web traffic, Cloudflare said.
Its recent surge in popularity is believed to be a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, as lockdowns left people indoors looking for entertainment.
By July of this year the TikTok app had been downloaded more than 3 billion times, according to research firm Sensor Tower.
Owned by China’s Bytedance, the app, along with its Chinese equivalent Douyin, has more than one billion active users around the world.
Douyin was first released in 2016, and expanded internationally in 2018 after acquiring Musical.ly.
Last year US president Trump threatened to ban TikTok in the US over data privacy concerns.
Negotiations began to sell the app’s US operations to a third party, but the Biden administration dropped the ban threat in June.
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