Is Triller Wildly Overstating Its User Numbers Ahead of IPO?

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Photo Credit: Solen Feyissa

Triller is preparing to go public, but something is fishy about its S-1 filing numbers. Here’s the latest.

As spotted by TechCrunch, the company’s S-1 filing reveals the app had 550 million lifetime sign-ups. But that’s a far cry short of what estimated installs are for the social media platform across iOS and Android devices. Analytics firm Apptopia estimates Triller has been downloaded just 73.2 million times since 2015. That’s 87% fewer users than the Triller S-1 filing, which means if Triller’s numbers are accurate, the rest of the numbers must come from web sign-ups.

TechCrunch reached out for comment from Triller about the discrepancy, with no response. But this isn’t the first time Triller has been caught wildly inflating its user numbers in order to appear favorable to investors. Triller has been trying to go public in some form since it exploded in 2020. In 2021, the company claimed it had 26.5 million monthly active users, though sources told Billboard the true number was actually about half that.

Triller has been a bit of a thorn in the music industry’s side as it has faced numerous legal challenges and allegations of missed payments from both Sony Music and Universal Music Group. Timbaland and Swizz Beatz has also filed a lawsuit against Triller, claiming millions in unpaid royalties from the platform.

In August 2022, the Washington Post ran a report about how the TikTok rival created an incubator program aimed at Black creators—then refused to pay those who participated in the program. “A year after Triller began recruiting Black talent, its payments to many creators have been erratic and, in some cases, nonexistent,” a report interviewing more than two dozen creators, talent managers, and former company staff revealed.

A peek at the Google Play Store page for Triller reveals only having 10 million downloads, while Apptopia data estimates that users only spend about 11 minutes per month on the app. The low engagement raises many questions about Triller’s ability to monetize itself effectively when even those who use the app aren’t doing so for a significant period of time per month.