Whether you like it or not, TikTok is taking over. Google has always been known as the leading search engine for everyone. Still, recently, TikTok is becoming a new type of search engine for Gen Z. Other social media apps such as Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook have already been used as search engines, so why not TikTok? TikTok can provide accurate results and, at times, more information than a Google search. Gen Z prefers TikTok as a search engine over Google, but why? Keep reading, and we’ll explain all the ins and outs of this social media phenomenon!
What’s the Deal with TikTok?
TikTok is easier and more convenient than Instagram and Google, according to most 18 to 24-year-olds who spend hours on the app daily. Even though Google builds more trust and can provide more quality content than TikTok, that is not as much of a concern to Gen Z. They prefer the fastest and easiest way to find out what they need to know. For the older generations, this may be different. They have more time and patience to search for quality answers and are less likely to use TikTok than younger audiences. Older generations are using TikTok, but not as a search engine.
TikTok shows videos that easily explain information excitingly and understandably. It is more entertainment based than Google, which is precisely why Gen Z loves it! And now, most companies are using TikTok to reach people. By creating entertaining videos, they draw younger audiences to interact with them. It is a great way to raise brand awareness, especially when a video has the potential to become viral.
Can Google Compete?
Google execs have noticed the impact that TikTok has had and continues to have on the minds of young people. They are doing their best to think one step ahead and attempt to grab the attention of Gen Z with pictures and YouTube Shorts. YouTube Shorts are explanatory videos less than one minute long, yet they still need that interactive aspect that TikTok provides. On TikTok, you can search for any video type you want- endless options. Videos are catered to your preferences and liking so that you continue to see the content you’re interested in. When using the search bar on TikTok, the app uses AI and predictive text based on the content viewed on the account. As a result, multiple videos pop up that fit precisely what you’re looking for. The interactive part comes in once you click on the video. Users find it valuable to be able to make comments on the video or send it to friends. Most of the time, people only care about reading opinions in the comment section to decipher the information. It brings a whole new level of connection between people online with similar interests and searches.
Straight to the Search Bar
A search bar for something, in particular, is often at the top of the comment section on Tiktok. It shows the most popular search for those who have watched the same video. It commonly brings users to another video that explains what the current video does not explain. For example, someone could post a movie clip, and most comments talk about the movie or ask what the title is. The search at the top of the comment section will likely say what the film is and then bring users to more clips. It’s easy to click that search button at that moment rather than leaving the app to type it all in again on Google.
Young adults may want to search for friendly businesses to shop at or delicious restaurants to visit. Searching on TikTok for happy hours to try will be more helpful than just seeing the menu, prices, and good reviews on Google. TikTok lets users know about the restaurant in real time with videos and pictures. Google may not show the restaurant's atmosphere, drink sizes, food portions, furniture quality, or environment. On TikTok, the comments are always brutally honest, so viewers can see how people feel about the product, business, or restaurant being searched. It is easy for places to fake good reviews to attract customers. Seeing a real video with texts or voices of people in the restaurant makes it much more believable than a short review and a blurry picture from Google.
The Difference Between Entertainment and Information
Whether it’s on Google or TikTok, there is bound to be biased information. When completing a Google search, ads are abundant, and most of the time, people don’t feel like scrolling through the sponsored list to get to what they are looking for. TikTok gives straightforward information you do not have to scroll down to find. However, a significant downside to this accessibility is that people frequently see misinformation and spread it quickly. Once it starts, it can spread like wildfire, and damage is done before it can be attended to.
For simple things like happy hour or resume guides, TikTok is a valuable tool that gives you specific information that cannot be skewed. But, it may be best to stick to Google articles to relay the most accurate information for something like the news. However, one benefit to TikTok feeding someone news is that it can bring awareness to a subject that some may not usually see. People can continue to search for information about it on TikTok but can revert to Google search to fact-check it with trusted sources. It is important to check (before sharing) that a video isn’t conveying misinformation just to entertain the group of followers a TikToker may have.
Even with TikTok as an unconventional marketing method, businesses use it to attract
younger consumers. With Gen Z on the app so much, marketers are taking advantage of this opportunity. More and more people post or watch TikToks and would instead search there than Google. Google may attempt to make new strides to attract younger audiences, but for now, they’ll need to wait this out. Users value TikTok and rely on its search engine to provide insightful entertainment quickly and easily; Google cannot. Here at Skigital, we pride ourselves on being up-to-date on the latest digital marketing trends while working with the utmost integrity. Contact us today to get started with TikTok and the rest of your marketing needs, and connect with us on Instagram and Facebook!