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News & Analysis

TikTok was the world’s most popular domain in 2021

- December 22, 2021 2 MIN READ
TikTok. Photo: AdobeStock

Short-form video content platform TikTok has overtaken Google as the world’s most visited domain of 2021, according to internet infrastructure company Cloudflare.

It has been a meteoric rise to the top of the charts for TikTok which was among the top 10 most popular domains in late 2020.

But by the middle of 2021 TikTok.com was being pinged by devices more frequently than Google.com.

That’s not just Google Search either as the likes of Maps, Translate, and News all point to the Google.com domain.

Facebook.com, Microsoft.com (which includes Office 365 and Teams), and Apple.com (which includes the App Store and Apple TV+) rounded out the top five most visited domains of 2021.

Naturally TikTok was also the most popular social media site, topping last year’s champion Facebook which was knocked offline by a severe outage in October.

The technical problems had a lengthy effect as well, with Cloudflare noticing a drop in traffic for a whole week after Facebook first went down.

YouTube was in the number three spot for social media while Twitter and Instagram battled it out for fourth and fifth place respectively in what Cloudflare called “a very close race”.

Interestingly, Microsoft’s social media platform for professionals LinkedIn made up ground on the more popular and fun platforms.

While it was low on the top 10 most visited social sites, LinkedIn saw significant growth in internet traffic during the second half of the year.

Cloudflare pinned this increase in popularity onto to changes in the way people are working thanks to the pandemic.

“In a year when terms like The Great Resignation and the reset of people and organizations’ mindsets were talked about, it makes sense to see this social media platform growing,” Cloudflare said.

As for the top streaming platforms, it’s a no-brainer: Netflix all the way.

Even with Cloudflare including YouTube, with its free service and nearly infinite library of user-generated content, Netflix still came out on top in 2021.

Other categories included in Cloudflare’s 2021 internet traffic rundown were ecommerce (no surprise that Amazon was the most popular), messaging (WhatsApp won here), and the 2021 buzzword ‘metaverse’ which saw Roblox beat out Fortnite.